Publication: Toppan Printing Company, 1949, Tokyo
First edition of the Dutch dipliomat's first work of detective fiction, a translation of a Seventeenth Century detective story. Illustrated. With an introduction and notes by Van Gulik. Published in an edition of 1200 numbered copies signed by Van Gulik. This is copy 888. A presentation copy inscribed by van Gulik to legendary author and literary critic, Vincent Starrett, on the front free endpaper: "To Mr. Vincent Starrett, / from the author / R van Gulik / Tokyo, Sept. 1950." Starrett has also signed this copy on the verso of the limitation page. Fine bright copy with the original plain kraft paper unprinted dust jacket in which the book was mailed to subscribers, and housed in a custom made clamshell case with a red leather label on the spine and titles stamped in gilt. Laid-in to this copy are photocopies of two autograph letters signed by van Gulik to Starrett, as well as a newspaper clipping of Starrett's review of this book that is dated Dec. 10, 1950.
Inventory Number: 47415