a 'hen's tooth' Harry Clarke
CLARKE, Harry (illustrator). Geoffrey C. WARREN (author). Elixir of Life (Uisge Beatha), Being the slight account of the romantic rise to fame of a great House. Dublin; John Jameson & Son Limited. 1925.
8vo. (150 x 115mm); original black cloth-backed lime green boards, with paper label to upper cover lettered within a fleuron border; pp. [iv], 1-17 + [iv], printed on wove paper; with 5 plates and 4 vignettes all printed in yellow and black with titles below printed in black; externally very good and sound with rubbing and mottling to the boards to give a marbled effect, with none of the expected fraying to spine cloth which is fine, internally also clean with some localised pale and diffuse foxing to margins and gutters of a few leaves and speckling to the endpapers; rare.
Sole edition. Despite its relatively high production standards, and substantial feel, as an ephemeral piece of promotional merchandising this little volume has become one of the holy grails for any collector of Harry Clarke material and is now among the costliest items in the Clarke bibliography. Only a handful of copies have appeared at auction since publication.
It was produced in association with Jameson & Son, whiskey distillers of Dublin, Ireland. In a letter accompanying a copy sent to a friend Clarke wrote "Here is one of the books I did for Jameson - it was made in Dublin and if you have ever had any experience of Dublin printers you will know it was only produced with great difficulty" (Steenson. A Bibliographical Checklist of the work of Harry Clarke, A7. The previous year Clarke had worked on another such slight publication Origin of John Jameson Whiskey containing some interesting observations thereon etc. for the same company.