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Masquerade Hardcover – Sep 1979


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; First edition (Sept. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224016172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224016179
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.8 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher 'Kit' Williams (born April 28, 1946 in Kent, England) is an English artist, illustrator and author best known for his book Masquerade, a pictorial storybook which contains clues to the location of a golden jewelled hare created by Williams and then buried "somewhere in Britain."

Williams wrote another puzzle book with a bee theme; the puzzle was to figure out the title of the book and represent it without using the written word. This competition ran for just a year and a day and the winner was revealed on the live BBC TV chatshow Wogan.

In 1985, Kit Williams designed the Wishing Fish Clock, a centrepiece of the Regent Arcade shopping centre in Cheltenham and other clocks designed by Williams can be found in Telford and Milton Keynes Shopping Centres.

Product Description

1st Edition, Jonathan Cape, 4to. Unpaginated [31pp]. Wonderful and profuse colour illustrations by the author. Very good clean tight sound square, no bookplate inscriptions or marks of any kind. In very good colour pictorial laminated boards very slightly rubbed to tail, not intruding or detracting. A lovely First Edition of this seminal and lavishly illustrated treasure hunt book, notoriously solved by a fraud from clues dropped by Kit Williams' ex-girlfriend, which led him to the intricately fashioned jewel encrusted 18 carat gold hare. Later solved by two Manchester physics teachers, the book sold 2m copies brought Williams unwanted fame. The hare was sold for £31,900 and has been recently reunited with its maker.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Candice on 9 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The wonderful book arrived almost immediately - just as described and more! Inside were original cuttings and magazine exerts the owner had held onto. The book was a gift and these 'extras' made it even more special. It is a truly beautiful piece of artwork and we still haven't solved the puzzle!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Belochka on 22 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
With this, rather slim, hardback a whole publishing phenomena was launched - the picture puzzle book which could lead you to a real buried treasure. Masquerade was first published in 1979 by Jonathan Cape (U.K. edition) and garnered a massive amount of media attention and publicity.

Masquerade contains prints of fifteen painted pictures and is accompanied by a short story about Jack Hare. Jack is on a mission to find the Sun and give him a riddle and a gift from the Moon. The pictures and their painted borders contain the key clues with which to solve the puzzle, alongside some visual jokes and red herrings. Within the text are other riddles that are amusing to solve and easy enough to be read by younger children. The story itself is a fun, short, read with its featuring of Sir Isaac Newton, other strange human and non-human characters, flashes of humour in the dialogue and a mix of fable, myth and science.

I absolutely adore this book, although at the time that it was published I was a bit too young to really know how to solve the puzzles for the treasure hunt. The gorgeous paintings, the idea of a hidden treasure, seemed fantastical to me and what books should be all about.

The treasure itself, the golden hare necklace, was found in 1982 and is currently owned by a private collector; today the book remains as a curiosity item and getting hold of an original copy can be pricey. It is entirely worth the effort if you enjoy the rich style of Kit Williams' art and the inventiveness of picture puzzles (as a mental exercise).

The solution to the puzzle, also of Kit William's second treasure-related book (known as 'The Bee Book'), can be found online as well as other interesting - sometimes dramatic, real-life stories based around the hunt for the golden hare.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By eric on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is simply magic -- an amazing puzzle that kept people fascinated worldwide for years before the solution was revealed. NOTE: GET THE BOOK WITHOUT READING THE SOLUTION THAT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED AND ALSO FOOLISHLY POSTED IN THE OTHER USER REVIEW ON THIS PAGE -- you will have more fun.

The illustrations are simply incredible and engrossing, and the puzzle is really an adventurous mind game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Saatchi on 7 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is still a wonderful book to behold - even if the golden hare has long been found and the excitement of the hunt died away.

There are few British artists who could have pulled that publication event off but Kit Williams did and this beautiful book is his legacy.

If you do not collect his work, then shame on you! Make amends, and buy this. You will never regret it and your grandchildren will inherit a book that is a genuine modern classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Moonstarer on 3 Sept. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Masquerade is an inspiring & truly magical creation. Published in 1979, the hidden treasure has long since been found & auctioned off - nevertheless this collection of Kit Williams paintings is treasure in itself. Reminds me of my childhood daydreams & makes me want to paint & play again in imagined worlds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loopyfruit on 19 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely book, filled with beautiful illustrations. Interesting to look at. A nice book to own. The pictures are very detailed. Wonderful to consider that this book was once the source of a giant treasure hunt, don't think I would have been able to solve it though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steph on 19 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always wanted to own a Kit Williams book; his artwork is fascinating and magical.
This one arrived on time and hardly worn despite being 39 years old ! ( Printed in 1979 ). Somehow that increases the the magic. Each page holds a clue and I shall now begin to solve the puzzle..........
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Castle on 6 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my all time favourite books. It's magical and I am getting on for 70! I have copies of several others but none come close to the magic of "Masquerade", not even Kit Williams' second treasure hunt book. If you find it hard to locate a copy hunt shops selling used books. That's where I found mine and in the same shop I found "Quest for the Golden Hare" by Bamber Gascoigne for the princely sum of £2.50! It was a long time ago mind. Also an excellent book, it tells the whole story of how the hare and the the book was conceived, buried and found again. Very highly recommended for those who like to let their imaginations transcend the humdrum of ordinary life.
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