London: Printed at the Stanhope Press, by Charles Whittingham, 1809. Item #05173
With an Exquisite Fore Edge Painting of Temple Bar, London
By Joseph Clayton Clarke aka "KYD"
FORE-EDGE PAINTING. KYD (pseudonym of Joseph Clayton Clarke), artist]. GOLDSMITH, Oliver.
The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Collated with the best editions by Thomas Park, F.S.A. London: Printed at the Stanhope Press, by Charles Whittingham, 1809. [bound with] The Poetical Works of William Collins. London: Printed at the Stanhope Press, by Charles Whittingham, 1709 [sic] 1808. [bound with] Poems by [Thomas] Gray.
With an exquisite fore edge painting beneath the gilt, of Temple Bar - the principal ceremonial entrance to the City of London, by Joseph Clayton Clarke aka "Kyd." The painting is full of Dickensian style characters.
Twelvemo (4 7/8 x 3 inches; 124 x 76 mm.). [i]-iv, -86, [v]-vi, -81, [1, blank]; [iv], -64, -99, [1, blank] pp. Two engraved frontispieces, one for Goldsmith's Poetical Works and the second for William Collins's Poetical Works.
Contemporary full red 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, gray endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in an early twentieth century fleece-lined, red cloth slipcase.
The fore-edge painting, which we believe was executed sometime around 1910, depicts Temple Bar - the principal ceremonial entrance to the City of London, and exhibits an unusual degree of detail, art and craft; the coloring is quite extraordinary.
Temple Bar was the principal ceremonial entrance to the City of London from the City of Westminster. In the middle ages, London expanded city jurisdiction beyond its walls to gates, called ‘bars’, which were erected across thoroughfares. To the west of the City of London, the bar was located in the area known as the Temple. Temple Bar is situated on the historic royal ceremonial route from the Tower of London to the Palace of Westminster, the two chief residences of the medieval English monarchs, and from the Palace of Westminster to St Paul's Cathedral. The road east of Temple Bar and within the City is Fleet Street, while the road to the west, in Westminster, is The Strand.
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).