CLARK, Christopher (illustrator).
In the Land of the Shah – Being a Series of Announcements Issued by the British Petroleum Co. Ltd. from Britannic House, Moorgate, London E.C. 2.
First and only edition, extremely uncommon, no other copies traced either institutionally or commercially. Evidently these “announcements” were in fact rather grand advertisements for BP, which were gathered together and presented even more grandly still. Publication was noted at the time in the “Wheels of Industry” column of The Commercial Motor, the journal of the commercial vehicle industry; “An extremely beautiful production entitled “In the Land of the Shah” has been issued by the British Petroleum Co., Ltd. which is the distributing organisation of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co., Ltd. The publication forms a portfolio of some of the company’s announcements which have appeared in the Press, but that Statement by no means does justice to it, for the ” announcements ” took the form of delightful drawings of Eastern life, commerce, and customs by Christopher Clark, R.I., and they are reproduced on special paper, so that the impression given is almost that of steel engravings. Each drawing is accompanied by some interesting text. The portfolio is one of those productions that most men will take home. We believe that a copy will be sent to any reader who mentions The Commercial Motor” (The Commercial Motor, 17 November 1925). The images range from the ancient historical – “A Temple of the Fire Worshippers”, “The Glories of Ancient Persia”, “The Tomb of Khusru Pharviz” – to the contemporary industrial – “Transporting Pipe Line in Persia”, on mule back, “150 Miles of Pipe Lines” – via picturesque travelogue – “Ferry-Boats of the Tigris”, pitch waterproofed gufas, “A Persian Wedding”, as described by Sir Percy Sykes, “A Land of Leisurely Travel”, a heavily laden camel caravan. Evocative artwork by Christopher Clark, a British commercial artist-illustrator best remembered for his work for British Railways, often featuring scenes of British pageantry. Fascinating early piece of promotional literature for the burgeoning oil industry.
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Folio (440 298 mm) Original buff printed, yapp-edged, light card wraps. 12 finely-printed monochrome lithographic plates (c. 155 200 mm), imposed within a “plate-mark” above descriptive text. Wraps somewhat rubbed and soiled, edges-splits largely confined to the yapp-edging, corners dog-eared, but only lacking a small piece from the back panel, foxing throughout, a little heavier front and back.