The three ‘Kai Lung’ collections - The Wallet of Kai Lung - Kai Lung's Golden Hours - and - Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat - Ernest Bramah 1923 - Doran, New York - First American Editions (Wallet is the second edition, but first in the Nadejen dust jacket). There are few situations in life that cannot be honourably settled, and without loss of time, either by suicide, a bag of gold, or by thrusting a despised antagonist over the edge of a precipice upon a dark night.

Three volumes presenting the first three collections of stories featuring the inimitable protagonist Kai Lung, in which he must pit his wits against his arch nemesis Ming-Shu, escape the clutches of greedy bandits, and attempt to beguile them with seemingly unrelated parables with the help of his love Hwa-Mei, eventually becoming known as
‘an itinerant teller of tall tales set in a China that never was’.

All presented in their wonderful dust jackets illustrated by Theodore Nadejen.
Kai Lung's Golden Hours, also contains an enthusiastic introduction by Hilaire Belloc.

A seminal influence in the genre of speculative fiction, Bramah’s works have been compared with those of Jerome K. Jerome, and PG Wodehouse. His work went on to inspire writers such as Dorothy L Sayers, Jorge Luis Borges, and George Orwell, among many others.

‘It is a mark of insincerity of purpose to spend one's time in looking for the sacred Emperor in the low-class tea-shops’.
  Ernest Bramah (1868-1942): Known for his reclusive nature, he was the author of over twenty critically and commercially acclaimed novels, and is described by Howard Haycraft as follows: ‘’Mr. Bramah, who is also widely known for his humorous works, including the delightful pseudo-Chinese parables, ‘The Kai Lung’ Tales, is one of the most self effacing of modern authors. “I am not fond of writing about myself, and only to a less degree about my work. My published works are about all that I care to pass on to the reader”.’

Theodore Nadejen (1889-1974): ‘’Born in Russia, Theodore Nadejen ran away from home at age 13 and went to sea where he served in the Russian Imperial Volunteer Navy and became a captain. During this time, he studied at the Royal Academy of Art, and then fled during the 1917 Revolution to New York City. He worked as a stage designer and painted in his leisure time.’

Provenance: Bookseller receipt of Sandor Burstein for
Unrolls his Mat and Golden Hours, dated April 11th 1983. Wallet with thesignature of ‘Marion Holbrook’ to front free endpaper.

References:
Haycraft, Murder for Pleasure, 77. The British National Gallery [web]. Bramah, Kai Lung Raises His Voice, 2.

Three octavo volumes (21 x 14.5 cm). pp. viii 9-313 [5]; xiii [3] 17-333 [3]; vii [2] 320. In publisher’s quarter coloured cloth over illustrated paper, which is duplicated on the dust jackets, paper label to spines. Dust jackets priced ‘Net: two dollars and fifty cents’ to lower edge of front flap,
Unrolls His Mat giving price of all three at ‘$2.50 each’ to lower edge of rear flap and no price to front flap.
  Condition: First two very good to near fine, light foxing to first and last few pages, some soiling and rubbing to spine, in very good dust jackets, with wear to corners and spines, short closed tears, and a few chips to upper edges. Unrolls His Mat near fine, a few spots to edge of block, in near fine dust jacket, with minor wear to corners, slightly heavier to spine ends.   Ref: 108772   Price: HK$ 2,200