This handsomely-produced volume was issued in a limited (signed and numbered) edition of 500 to commemorate the inaugural exhibition held at the Kreitman Gallery, Beverly Hills in 1979. The exhibition's title 'The Art of Love: Erotic Scenes from the Ancient Cultures of India, Nepal, China and Japan' gives a fairly clear idea of the contents of the book, which offer a definitive and exhaustive guide to sex and oriental mysticism, with over 600 illustrations.
Nik Douglas (1944-2012) was something of a polymath, with interests in Egyptology, archaeology, pop music (in the 60s), Tantra and Ayurvedic medicine, and the collection of art and antiquities. He was also a businessman, and had an amazing memory, often working on multiple projects at a time. He rejoiced in bringing together related art objects, building art collections which told a cultural story, and placing them in venues where they could be appreciated. He was a consultant and agent for museums, galleries and private collections around the world.
Our copy (no. 21/500) is in very good condition, bound in red hand-loomed Indian silk in a red silk-covered slipcase, with gilt edges, gold/red ribbon place marker and marbled endpapers. The slipcase is somewhat worn at the all edges, the silk fraying, and frankly torn on one shorter side. It is, however, only lightly soiled. The book itself has some light external wear, but has been generally well protected by the case. The gilt motif on the front, and the titles on the spine are all faded. Inside, the binding is firm, and all pages clean and bright, apart from a gift inscription in blur biro on the page opposite the title page. The two authors' signatures adorn a glossy page in front of the halftitle page.