London: Printed for W. Bent, 1833. Item #05172
With an Exquisite Fore Edge Painting of St. Giles's Church, Cripplegate
By Joseph Clayton Clarke aka "KYD"
[FORE-EDGE PAINTING]. [KYD (pseudonym of Joseph Clayton Clarke), artist]. [ALLESTREE, Richard]. The New Whole Duty of Man, Containing The Faith as well as Practice of A Christian: Made Easy For the Practice of the Present Age… London: Printed for W. Bent, .
With an exquisite fore edge painting beneath the gilt, of St Giles's Cripplegate, Fore Street, London,
by Joseph Clayton Clarke aka "Kyd." The painting is full of Dickensian style characters.
Octavo (8 1/2 x 5 3/8 inches; 218 x 136 mm.). [ii], [i]-x, -542 pp. Engraved frontispiece of Moses with the Ten Commandments. Neat ink name and date on top blank margin of title-page "Hugh William Williamson/--April 13th 1838".
Bound ca. 1900 in full maroon straight-grain morocco, covers decoratively bordered in gilt and blind, spine with four shallow raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, decorative gilt board edge and turn-ins, blue marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With the armorial bookplate of Walter Edwin Frew on front endpaper. Minimal rubbing to front joint, otherwise near fine.
The fore-edge painting, which we believe was executed sometime around 1910, depicts St. Giles's Cripplegate and exhibits an unusual degree of detail, art and craft; the coloring is quite extraordinary.
St Giles-without-Cripplegate is an Anglican church in the City of London, located on Fore Street within the modern Barbican complex. When built it stood without (that is, outside) the city wall, near the Cripplegate. The church is dedicated to St. Giles, patron saint of lepers, beggars and the handicapped. It is one of the few medieval churches left in the City of London, having survived the Great Fire of 1666. John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, was buried in the church in 1674.
Fore-edge paintings by "Kyd" are excessively rare - I have seen only a handful in over fifty years of specializing in this field. "Kyd" was a personal friend of my Great Uncle, Sam Joseph and used to frequently visit 48a Charing Cross Road… (DJB).
KYD. "CLARKE, Joseph Clayton [sometimes seen as "Clark"] - English artist (1856-1937). Clarke worked as a freelance artist and cartoonist until 1900. He is described as having had many occupations during his career as an artist. His book, The Characters of Charles Dickens portrayed in a series of original water colour sketches by "Kyd", London, Paris, & New York: Raphael Tuck & Sons, was issued ca. 1889. From 1900-1920 he drew illustrations for cigarette cards and postcards based on Dickens' characters. He is best known for his marvelous character drawings and watercolors from Dickens' stories. Clarke signed his name "Kyd" on the popular color drawings he made. His fore-edge paintings are not signed. However, an un-illustrated pamphlet issued by Sawyer's (bookseller) states that he is known to have painted certain types of English scenes which suggests that his work can be identified. "Kyd" was described as a "flamboyant character", known to wear a "grey suit, spats, a homburg hat, and gloves, and always with a flower in his buttonhole". He frequented the racing tracks, bars, and women, thus his income suffered. Late in life he made money by producing watercolor sketches, mostly of Dickens' characters, for London booksellers, or perhaps a fore-edge or two. He worked for "Punch" for one single day. Clarke died in Hampstead in 1937." (Jeff Weber. Annotated Dictionary of Fore-Edge Painting Artists & Binders, pp. 80-83).
"...Clayton Clarke, the most outstanding authority on anything appertaining to the cult of fore-edge painting. Better known perhaps to an earlier generation as an.... illustrator of Dickens under the pseudonym 'Kyd', he has for over a quarter of a century studied and practiced the delightful vagaries of this fascinating form of decoration; and it is no exaggeration to say that by the fine quality and beauty of his work he has raised what was originally a curiosity to the dignity of art" (J.E.S. Sawyer, "Kyd" [Joseph Clayton Clarke] a Preliminary Study of his Life and Work Together with His Essay on Fore-edge Paintings, p.12).
Provenance: Walter Edwin Frew (1864-1941). President Corn Exchange Bank, New York City.