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Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

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Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Ian Buxton » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:20 pm

Just a heads up for Irish whiskey fans and book collectors that I am selling on eBay a very rare (and expensive, sadly) Jamesons promotional pamphlet from 1925, illustrated by Harry Clarke.

The item number on eBay is 190253813343.

A rare and highly collectable Harry Clarke item. "Elixir of Life" was issued by the Irish whiskey distillers John Jameson & Son Ltd of Dublin in 1925 to promote their whiskey and is thus of interest to collectors of Harry Clarke's book illustrations and whiskey bibliophiles. Arguably the most beautiful book ever issued on whisk(e)y it is illustrated by Clarke on every page spread.

This was the second commission from Jameson, who had issued an earlier soft-cover pamphlet by Clarke in 1924. This later book is hard bound and generally more substantial. Both are very rare.

"Elixir of Life" was published in 1925, when Clarke was at the height of his considerable powers as an illustrator, with a style compared to Aubrey Beardsley and Kay Nielsen. Read more about Clarke in his Wikipedia entry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Clarke

A copy of this book is in the permanent collection of the National Liobrary of Ireland. As stated, it is very rare and highly sought after. There is currently one copy on sale elsewhere on the Internet - at $4,995 (£2,810, €3,450 approx.) - see details here: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=968342396&searchurl=bt.x%3D32%26bt.y%3D14%26sortby%3D1%26tn%3Delixir%2Bof%2Blife

This seems slightly high, but the book typical fetches €1,300 at auction which, after buyer's premium, equals €1,547 or $2,240, £1,220 approx. See the auction results from Irish auctioneers Mealys where a copy was sold on 4 December 2007 for €1,300 + premium of 19% = €1,547. See: http://www.mealys.com/res1207.php?pageNum_rscat0179=7&totalRows_rscat0179=966

Scroll to bottom of page and look for lot #399. Another copy, not in original binding, was sold by Whyte's of Dublin in May 2006, also for €1,300 + buyer's premium.

The reserve I have set reflects this auction valuation but is set below this level, simply to ensure that this lovely little book doesn't sell for far below fair market value.

Description: 17 pp., illustrated. Black cloth spine, green paper covered boards with title on front board pastedown. Nine exquisite Harry Clarke illustrations printed in black, white & yellow. Modest soiling throughout. Gutter open between page 4 & 5, but tight. Front board faded and small chip at base of front board. Binding sound. Illustrations, Very Good. Size: approx 6 inches x 4.75 inches.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Aidan » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:07 pm

I saw one of these go on ebay before for a big price. Good luck with it. I wish I had the money to buy it.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:43 pm

Went for a weighty £780.45 in the end ..... hope it was enough :o

First edition Harry Clarke illustrated books seem to command a good price at auction so it may not of even been bought by a Whiskey enthusiast.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Ian Buxton » Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:48 pm

It was bought by a very nice collector in Germany who collects Harry Clarke illustrations.
A decent but not spectacular price actually, especially once eBay and PayPal fees are deducted, and the price of the only other one in the USA (over £2,800) is considered.
Still, I wasn't unhappy and neither was my new friend in Germany.

:wink:
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Pure Pot Head » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:48 pm

Does anyone know how I might get hold of scans of this book. Is this the one where Jameson describe the production process. There's a framed series pof pages from some book on the wall of the restaurant in the Old Midleton Distillery but this might be called The Sovereign Liquor'

I would really like to get a hold of even the most basic photocopies of this text of possible.

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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Aidan » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:52 pm

I have The Sovereign Liquor. I could photocopy it. You can pick them up for quite little.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Pure Pot Head » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:55 pm

Thanks Aidan. I'll see if I can get hold of a copy of The Sovereign Spirit. If not, I'll take you up on the offer of getting the photocopies. I've set up a string hoping to get some Jameson print material from the past - as in really old.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Ian Buxton » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:53 pm

Soverigne Liquor (note the deliberately old-fashioned spelling, after Hollinshed) isn't too hard to find, and not hugely expensive. Try abebooks.com or wait for a copy on eBay. £50 or so should do it though I see some at higher prices.

The rare and valuable ones are The History of a Great House and Elixir of Life, both illustrated by Harry Clarke, and published in the 1920s. They are tricky and expensive - but very, very lovely.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Pure Pot Head » Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:57 pm

Thanks Ian, my mission begins here and now. I won't rest till I get those books!

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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Pure Pot Head » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:50 pm

Hi Ian,

I checked out abebooks.com. They have Elixir of Life at just under $4,000. Ouch! And The Sovereign Liquor at around $180. Would love even just to see what's in them from an information point of view. Particularly through the 1800's. Do you recall much from the text of the book you sold - does it tell us anything we don't already know whcih from my invesitgations so far is very little.

Apreciate the help.

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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:41 am

Sovereign Liquor is only from the 1950's and is interesting but fairly basic if I can remember as I've not read it in a while. I have photographed it and put them up in a folder in an old Irish Whiskey group. May not be used any more but I can mail you the pics if you like.

Aidan do you have a link to that group as I seem to have lost it :headbang:
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby Aidan » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:21 am

Here's a link to those pictures in the whiskey group... http://groups.yahoo.com/group/irishwhis ... 9/pic/list

If anyone else wants to see the pictures, you might have to join the group as I had to sign in to see them.
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Re: Rare Irish Whiskey book for sale

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:39 am

Thanks John :thumbsup:
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