London: George G. Harrap & Company, 1916. Item #04878
The Rarest of all Harry Clarke's Signed Limited Editions
[CLARKE, Harry, illustrator]. ANDERSEN, Hans Christian. Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen. Illustrated by Harry Clarke. London: George G. Harrap & Company, .
Edition De Luxe limited to 125 copies signed by Harry Clarke (this being No. 42).
Large quarto (11 1/8 x 7 5/8 inches; 283 x 194 mm.). 319,  pp. Sixteen mounted color plates (all with captioned tissue guards), twenty-four black and white plates, and ten decorative tail-pieces, mostly repeated throughout the text. Additional line drawings for the frontispiece, title-page, list of illustrations, self-portrait tail-piece, and “The Tinder-Box” title-piece.
Publisher's white vellum over boards, front cover and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, others uncut. Scattered light foxing throughout not affecting any of the color or black and white plates. Aside from the foxing this is a fine copy, with the the gilt decoration on the vellum covers bright and fresh.
The rarest of all the Harry Clarke signed limited editions.
"Harrap published Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales in a limited, signed and numbered edition of 125 copies, bound in vellum and printed on rag paper, at 3 guineas for circulation in England and America… Harrap's prospectus introduced Harry Clarke as… “Mr. Clarke brings to Hans Andersen an entirely fresh interpretation, and he appeals to the intellectual emotions of art-lovers, who will find in his work satisfaction of their craving for new and unconventional treatment of themes which may never be exhausted while the spirit of life exists in art. Mr. Clarke is a craftsman who devotes to each drawing an infinity of pains which is little less than marvelous, and it is difficult to know which to admire most—his fresh conceptions or his delicate and intricate detail. The latter feature, by the way, has necessitated a very considerable amount of hand-graving upon the colour blocks, and these give, therefore, much more than the usual mechanical reproductions of the artist’s drawings… In all the book contains Forty full-page illustrations and a number of Decorative Tailpieces, etc. There are Sixteen Colour Plates, in which the colouring is as rich and original as would be expected from an artist whose black line work is as suggestive of riotous colouring as it is of ideas… The letter-press comprises 24 of the choicest stories of Andersen."" (Prospectus, quoted in Bowe on p. 40).
Bowe, p. 149, no. 2; Douglas Hyde Gallery. Harry Clarke Monograph, No. 27.