Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sherlocking in Hungary

Over the years I have established many connections around the world for securing foreign translations of the Canon. Early on I founded the Maniac Collectors, the world's first International Sherlock Holmes collector's society. This was in the early days of the Internet. I would find people in places like Brazil, Israel, Denmark, and Japan and make them an offer. The offer was that I would send them a package of Sherlockian books in English and once the books arrived, they would in turn send me a package of books with what they felt was of equal value.

As the use of the Internet grew, this approach slowly waned because it became so much easier to find things from around the world. These were pre-eBay days and once this wonderful Internet site got rolling, there was nothing to do but embrace it and move forward. Over the course of years, one of the connections I formed was with a gentleman from Hungary. Mr. Gergely Gyulai sends me an email a couple of times each month, offering the latest Sherlockian treasures he has found. Recently he sent the one pictured below.
This edition of The Sign of Four has a nice illustrated cover art by a well known Hungarian applied graphics artist, Imre Földes (b.1881-d.1948). The cover depicts Sherlock Holmes in the company of a dog, perhaps Toby. 
Cover art by Imre Földes

Several times Gergely has sent me books from the collection of Fernec Pap who was probably the biggest Sherlock Holmes collector in Hungary. Pap was an engineer and lived in a small city called Kiskundorozsma in Hungary near to Szeged. He began collecting books decades ago. All the books that originally belonged to his collection are stamped in green, the "possessor mark," on the title-pages and also on some pages inside the books. He was in his 70’s when he died last year and his collection was then sold at numerous auctions. Most of his collection was Sherlock Holmes/Hungarian editions and he had several hundred of these at the time of his death.

Rap Fernec book stamps

Of all my Hungarian translations the one below has one of my favorite covers.

1918 Hungarian pulp editon of the Hound.