“ONE OF THE MOST VALUED SPORTING BOOKS OF ALL TIME”: CLARK’S STRAY SHOTS, WITH 13 ORIGINAL ETCHINGS
CLARK, Roland Hanmer. Stray Shots. New York: Derrydale Press, 1931. Octavo, original black cloth gilt, beveled edges, uncut. $2500.
Limited private-press first edition, one of only 535 copies, of Clark’s first book of hunting reminiscences, with 13 wonderful dry-point etchings of game fowl by him.
“From his boyhood days, Roland Clark’s lifelong passion was game birds, especially waterfowl. His illustrations of birds in their natural environment are astonishingly lifelike, even in his very early sketches. He was an ardent hunter and his art depicts game birds as the hunter actually saw them. So it is not suprising that hunters are his most ardent admirers” (Clark). “It has been said that he was often torn between shooting or sketching a bird, and as a result in a moment of indecision sometimes would lose both the bird and the drawing” (Russell Fink). Another avid sportsman, Eugene Connett, after studying the typography of Daniel Berkeley Updike, founded the famed Derrydale Press, with the intent “to reprint the very scarce early American books on sport which had become so rare that some of them would never be seen outside of a few private collections… and to produce a group of books on contemporary American sport which, because of their beauty, would be preserved.” Stray Shots, Clark’s first collection of hunting essays, “has become one of the most valued sporting books of all time” (Clark). Owner signature of renowned animal breeder Pansy Ireland, mistress of Georgia’s famed hunting lodge Pebble Hill, touted by Harper’s Magazine as “the best winter resort on three continents.”
A fine copy, with distinguished provenance.