Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, 60th Anniversary Bentley Special Edition, 2013

As part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, Vintage Classics partnered with Bentley Motors to create a luxury limited edition of the book that introduced Special Agent 007 to the world. The special edition printing features an exclusive introduction from racing legend, Sir Stirling Moss, making it a true collector’s item. Just 500 editions were produced in this limited run. This edition book was published on November 1, 2013, exclusively from Random House. 

The Bentley is James Bond’s car of choice in the original Fleming novels and Ian Fleming was a huge admirer of the Bentley Boys, seduced by their adventures on the racing track. In his introduction, Sir Stirling Moss comments: “When it came to cars Fleming really knew his stuff… he must have known that the fabulous pre-war Bentleys won at Le Mans four years in a row from 1927-30.”  This iconic edition aimed to capture that spirit of adventure and the glamour associated with these leading British brands.

The book was created by designers Kris Potter and Stephen Parker at Random House, who were inspired following a trip to the Bentley Motors HQ in Crewe. “We knew that any design we came up with would have to reflect the incredible craftsmanship and heritage we had seen in the Bentley cars at Crewe, the challenge for us was how we could combine this with the coolness and nostalgia of Bond... The inspiration was endless.”

From the hand-bound beluga leather casing to distinctive Bentley features like hand-stitched embroidery and silver foil page edges, this special edition of Casino Royale is produced with only the very finest materials. Its striking red, white, and black coloring is a nod to the gambling theme of Fleming’s first novel, where Bond famously takes on his adversary, Le Chiffre, over a game of baccarat. A special feature of this edition is the bespoke set of playing cards, hidden within a secret compartment in the case.

The book is presented in an elegant leather clamshell case, an object of automotive craftsmanship. The case and special edition are bound in beluga colored leather, sourced from the tannery in Italy that provides hides for Bentley’s interiors. Using Bentley’s craftsmanship, this edition features the iconic double stitching and signature winged Bentley logo, all hand-stitched on the leather casing. Bentley’s trademark knurling adorns the metal spine, inspired by the Bentley steel tread plate. Each book has a limitation marque with Ian Fleming’s facsimile signature, reflecting the plate one would find on a Bentley engine. Removing the book from the clamshell reveals a hidden compartment. Within this secret compartment lies a leather-bound case of Bentley Bond playing cards.

The book is decorated throughout with evocative brush illustrations by the Award winning illustrator Damian Gascoigne. Gascoigne was commissioned to highlight key points from the text with simple line gestures, giving the pages an energy that embodies both the thrill and excitement of the book. The illustrations hint at the plot, while providing a decorative balance to the text design.

Published on April 13, 1953 by London publisher Jonathan Cape, Casino Royale introduced James Bond to the world. The first print run of 4,728 copies sold out within a month. Following this initial success, Fleming went on to publish a Bond title every year until his death in 1964. It is in Casino Royale where 007 first utters the immortal line “Bond - James Bond” and where Bond reveals his recipe for the famous Martini cocktail, and christens “the Vesper” after the first Bond girl, Vesper Lynd. The artwork for the original cover was designed by Fleming himself, decorated with a heart motif to reflect a playing card.

CONDITION:

In excellent, like-new condition. Book is one of 500 in a limited edition run, with copyright page intact. Illustrated throughout. Bound in full Italian leather, with a matching Bentley and Casino Royale inspired clamshell case, with hidden compartment for playing cards.

Dimensions (book): 10.25" H x 8" W x 2.25" D.




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