An Oriental Bazaar

Scholartis Press (London, UK)
Series dates: 1928-1931
Size: 5″ x 7.5″

Eric Partridge, probably best known for his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1937 + supplements) was a New Zealand-born lexicographer. In the 1920s he was teaching at various universities in the London area while conducting research at the British Library. In 1927, tiring of his lecturing position at the University of London, Partridge established the Scholartis Press. About 100 titles were published before the Press closed in 1935. One goal of the press was to publish the works of young authors who were unable to get published by major houses. The initial emphasis was on limited editions, but popular titles were reprinted to meet demand. More information can be found here: “Before he was a lexicographer: Eric Partridge and the Scholartis Press.”

The press also issued reprints of classic titles in at least five different series, most of them also limited editions:

An Oriental Bazaar (5 titles, 1928-1931)
The Benington Books (6 titles, 1930-1932)
Eighteenth Century Novels (7 titles, 1928-1929)
Elizabethan Gallery (6 titles, 1928-1934)
Nineteenth-Century Highways and Byways (6 titles, 1927-1929)

An Oriental Bazaar consisted of titles, both reprint and new, about the East. It is similar to the Golden Dragon Library (1929-1931) published by Routledge in the UK and The Dial Press in the US. “Anything dry is avoided.”

Maude Meagher’s White Jade was published in 1930, as #3 in the series. It is a first edition, published in the UK by Scholartis and in the US by Houghton Mifflin (not in a series). The jackets for An Oriental Bazaar are similar to other Schoartis Press jackets: common to the series, only text, printed on heavy greyish paper. The series name is not included on the jacket. A brief blurb for the book is placed on the front jacket flap, as is the price (6/- net) with a convenient snip line.

The back of the jacket advertises the Nineteenth-Century Highways and Byways series, and includes all six titles published in that series. The series and each title have brief descriptions and reviews.

The books are bound in cloth, blue in color, with gold typography.

The only place the series name is indicated is in a listing of titles that faces the half-title page. It seems that one more title (The Ninth Immortal) was published after this list was printed. Series titles include:

#1. Bengal Haggis: The Lighter Side of Indian Life, by W.A.J. Archbold (1928)
#2. An Unfrequented Highway Through Sikkim and Tibet to Chumolaori, by John Easton (1929; published by Knopf in the US)
#3. White Jade by Maude Meagher (1930; published by Houghton Mifflin in the US)
#4. Chow Chow: A Journal Kept in India, Egypt and Syria, by Amelia Falkland (1930; original publication London: Hurst and Blackett, 1857)
#5. The Ninth Immortal, and Other Tales of China and Japan, by F. Hadland Davis (1931)

A photograph of a bronze mask faces the title page. The title page includes the date of publication (1930).

The dedication page (to Florence Ayscough).

A “Note by way of Preface” is included in the Scholartis, but not Houghton Mifflin book.

The preface continues, and the foreword:

The Forword continues:

As with other Scholartis Press titles, a page of bibliographic information is included. Along with the title, author, and publisher is included the printer (The Crypt House Press, Gloucester), type (12 pt. Garamond) on Cassiobury paper. Limited to 1450 copies, 500 reserved for the US, 25 are numbered, signed and specially bound.

The first page of text: