New York: Tudor Publishing Co., 1933. Clarke, Harry. First Edition. Hardcover. First Tudor edition, quarto size, 412 pp., with original publisher's dust jacket and box. Fine / very good +. Item #22072201
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) needs no introduction, as the master of the macabre. He gained a reputation as a popular writer and became a household name by 1845, although he continued to struggle financially for the rest of his life. One of the first writers to attempt to make a living solely off his work, Poe's work greatly affected the burgeoning genres of horror and science fiction, and much of his work explores the tumultuous depths of the human psyche.
The tales are perfectly complemented by the artwork of Harry (Henry Patrick) Clarke (1890-1931), who would become a leading figure in the arts and crafts movement. Clarke was apprenticed as a glass-maker to his father, the head of a large firm of stained glass artists, in 1906. An accomplished glass artist whose work can be seen in both secular and religious settings, Clarke's illustrations can be compared to that of Aubrey Beardsley, Kay Nielson, and Edmund Dulac, taken up during the tail end of what was considered the Golden Age of Illustration; his work is often imbued with a sinister atmosphere also exemplified by Beardsley and which come to full force in this work.
A stunning example, the volume incredibly clean and fresh, in the original dust jacket, and with the original box: Poe's "Tales", with Clarke's illustrations, as they were meant to be.
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full black cloth over boards, gilt decoration and lettering on the spine, paper label mounted onto front board with an illustration by Clarke in black and white over a half-gold ground above black lettering and decorations, top edge stained black, black endpapers, tipped-in colour frontispiece, title page with small illustration by Clarke, seven additional full-colour plates by Clarke bound in throughout plus twenty-four pages of black and white illustrations (two of the pages constitute a single double-spread illustration), chapter tailpieces by Clarke throughout; quarto size (10 5/8" by 8 1/4"), pagination: [1-8] 9-412, followed by a half-page Clark vignette. With the publisher's dust jacket, Clark illustrations on front and spine in black, white and yellow, black lettering on front and spine on a yellow ground, the rest of the jacket coal-black other than the inner portions of the flaps which are plain white, free of lettering or ornamentation. Contained within the publisher's box, the sides covered with black paper, the bottom with plain white paper, the top with a mounted white page with blue ruled borders enclosing one of the full-colour illustrations with black lettering both above and below.
___CONDITION: Volume fine overall, the binding clean and unworn, the paper label on the front clean and utterly without wear, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, the illustrations crisp and clear, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the colour frontis slightly creased at the bottom gutter corner (from catching when the book was closed as it was tipped in at the top, not mounted), two of the other colour plates with light corner creasing also in the gutter bottom corners, and an extremely shallow dent to the top edge of the front board; even with its few faults, still an overall fine example. The dust jacket is unclipped (although without a printed price), clean, the colours deep and bright (utterly unfaded), with some overall wear, the most noticeable an approximate 1.5" tear at the bottom of the front joint which extends slightly into the spine. The publisher's box better than very good, the box strong and sturdy, with minor overall soiling to the mounted paper on the top of the box and some small loss to the cardboard at the top front corner.
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