Edgar Jes­sop

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Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS - Edgar Jes­sop

A globe trot­ting bon vi­vant such as Edgar was nat­u­rally wel­comed into the most ex­clu­sive co­terie wher­ever he went, and in the old money so­ci­ety of north western United States, he was feted as roy­alty – a con­cept that he did lit­tle to dis­pel. Fol­low­ing his vic­tory in the Grand Prix of New Jer­sey (one of the very few oc­ca­sions when the Spag­forth Styx failed to ex­hibit its usual ten­dency to self de­struct), Edgar re­ceived an hon­orary doc­tor­ate in Bac­cha­na­lia from Prince­ton Univer­sity, re­sult­ing in an avalanche of of­fers to at­tend all man­ner of glit­ter­ing so­cial oc­ca­sions.

These of course gen­er­ated in­tro­duc­tions to af­flu­ent and in­flu­en­tial pil­lars of in­dus­try, one of who was Count Domenico Blap­perati, scion of the il­lus­tri­ous Grappa pro­duc­ing dy­nasty, the prod­ucts of which Edgar was more than fa­mil­iar. The young Count, bored with life aboard his 120 me­tre yacht Conoscenza Car­nale, had hit upon the idea of pro­duc­ing his own line of lux­ury motor ve­hi­cles, be­gin­ning with the V-24 Blap­perati But­tox. He also en­vis­aged a line of exquisite and out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive li­cenced prod­ucts – from wrist watches to lug­gage and mo­tor­ing ap­parel. Count Blap­perati was com­pletely taken with Edgar’s aplomb and savoir-faire, and his leg­endary skill on the Grand Prix cir­cuits of the world made him the ob­vi­ous choice for a the role of brand am­bas­sador. An ar­range­ment was struck whereby Edgar would re­ceive a Blap­perati But­tox for his ex­clu­sive use in USA, plus an un­lim­ited sup­ply of the li­cenced prod­ucts. In short or­der, Edgar and his ex­trav­a­gant con­veyance, fin­ished of course in Ital­ian rac­ing rosso, be­came a reg­u­lar fix­ture on the gar­den party cir­cuit – the sump­tu­ous white leather pas­sen­ger’s seat in­vari­ably oc­cu­pied by a charm­ing young lady. It seemed that la dolce vita had in­deed be­come Edgar’s ex­clu­sive sta­tion. Even the Blap­perati li­cenced prod­ucts soon car­ried Edgar’s sig­na­ture and per­sonal en­dorse­ment, ad­ver­tised in Van­ity Fair and sold in up-mar­ket stores fre­quented by the glit­terati.

But in a Latin ver­sion of The Rake’s Progress, this sur­real world was ef­fec­tively a can­dle in the wind, and the flame went out when the Count was ex­posed as a se­rial fraud­ster who was in re­al­ity Bluto As­pari­gato, com­pletely un­re­lated to the Blap­perati roy­alty and in fact a for­mer process worker who made cis­tern wash­ers in a fac­tory in Naples – Napoli Dun­ni­plug S.p.A. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous with the fall from grace of ‘The Count’, Edgar’s trin­kets and ve­hi­cle were im­pounded while he him­self faced al­le­ga­tions of com­plic­ity in the con­spir­acy. Never one to dwell on punc­til­ious­ness, Edgar beat a hasty re­treat home to Gig­gleswick and busily cov­ered his tracks, tick­ing off the ex­pe­ri­ence to a brief but gen­er­ously ful­fill­ing dal­liance, and as­sum­ing his for­mer man­tle of Grand Prix hero and all-round stout fel­low.

RIGHT Edgar’s per­sonal Blap­perati But­tox on dis­play in the Museu di Napoli.

ABOVE A range of Edgar-en­dorsed Blap­perati li­cenced prod­ucts.

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