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THE MALTESE FALCON by  Dashiell Hammett - First printing - 1930 - from Type Punch Matrix (SKU: 1005)


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by Hammett, Dashiell

  • Used
  • near fine
  • hardcover
  • First
Near fine
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Silver Spring, Maryland
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About This Item

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930. First printing. Near fine. First edition in book form of the hard-boiled classic, in which private detective Sam Spade chases a valuable artifact with the femme fatale Brigid O'Shaughnessy, rarely found with the original dust jacket (here professionally restored). Hammett, a former Pinkerton detective, was one of the primary pioneers of a distinctly American strain of detective fiction: the hard boiled. THE MALTESE FALCON captures many of the key traits of the genre, including a gritty setting (in this case 1920s San Francisco), morally ambiguous characters where no one seems entirely "good, " and an isolated, lone-wolf protagonist who lacks the gentlemanly demeanor of famous antecedents like Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in a series of five issues of THE BLACK MASK beginning September 1929. Although the book didn't live up to Knopf's hopes, selling about a tenth the copies A FAREWELL TO ARMS did the previous year, it was vaulted to icon status with the 1941 noir film starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor. 7.5'' x 5''. Original grey cloth, falcon design in blue on front board, spine stamped in blue and black, publisher's device on rear board. Black topstain, fore-edge machine deckle. In original expertly restored yellow dust jacket with falcon statue and hand grasping valuables on the front cover, and ads for Dain Curse and Red Harvest priced at $2.00 on rear cover, price clipped (as nearly always). [8], 267, [1] pages. Housed in a custom blue quarter goatskin clamshell box. Text clean and fresh.


The Maltese Falcon , author Dashiell Hammett’s third novel, set the standard by which all subsequent detective fiction would be judged. Set in San Francisco in the late 1920s, the novel introduces us to private detective Sam Spade, who characterizes the archetype of the hard-boiled detective in his dead-pan pursuit of the recovery of a black figurine. Having worked for a time for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in San Francisco, Hammett reportedly drew upon his years as a detective in creating Spade and many of the other characters for The Maltese Falcon . The Maltese Falcon was originally serialized in HL Mencken’s “pulp” magazine, Black Mask, beginning with the September 1929 issue. For publication of the book form, editor Blanche Knopf tried to tone down the overt sexuality of the magazine version, fearing the references would alienate readers, but Hammett prevailed. However, the 1941 film adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor (the best known of the novel’s three film versions) excised the homosexual subtext of the novel due to Production Code restraints. Today, the movie is considered a film noir classic and the novel is ranked 56th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century as well as 54th on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best novels. -

Read More: Identifying first editions of THE MALTESE FALCON


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Type Punch Matrix US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Hammett, Dashiell
Book condition
Used - Near fine
First printing
Alfred A. Knopf
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
Books to Film,Mystery,20th century,Jazz Age,American

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Type Punch Matrix

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About the Seller

Type Punch Matrix

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2020
Silver Spring, Maryland
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About Type Punch Matrix

Type Punch Matrix is a rare book firm founded by Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy. TPM is a member firm of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and upholds their Code of Ethics.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
clamshell box
A protective box designed for storing and preserving a bound book or loose sheets. A clamshell box is hinged on one side, with... [More]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [More]
price clipped
When a book is described as price-clipped, it indicates that the portion of the dust jacket flap that has the publisher's... [More]
Goatskin, leather made from goat, is durable and easy to dye. The original and finest examples of Morocco binding are goatskin.... [More]
Especially for older books, a printer's device refers to an identifying mark, also sometimes called a printer's mark, on the... [More]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [More]

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