IAN HAMILTON FINLAY

OBJECT + PAPER MULTIPLES

PLAINT OF THE BARGE-SAILS. c. 1975?

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (c. 1975?)
12 x 24cm., brown on white ceramic tile. The well known song Oranges & Lemons is re-written to re-contextualise the nursery rhyme to a maritime alternative - each rhyme ends with a fishing port and that geographical distinction defines which boat is chosen to make the couplet. Date unknown but all other Finlay tiles were published in the mid 70s. This tile is not in Murray or any other catalogue raisonne. A rarity. VG+.

ZEPHYR INS6. 1975.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1975)
15.3 x 15.3cm., blue on white ceramic tile with the the name of a boat ZEPHYR and its registered harbour - Inverness - and number. FInlay has referred to the boat name before - it clearly has positive implications for sailors given a zephyr is regarded as a sort of bonus wind to speed up a journey. When one looks up the background of the boat one finds that it was "Built at Dunbar in 1969. (A) scalloper owned by John MacAlllister Ltd of Oban. Throughout his artistic endeavours Finlay always felt the need to return to the sea, - much like a scalloper. One of only 100 made. Scare. VG+ Murray has this as 7.51. .

AMARYLLIS BCK55. 1975.

Dunsyre: Little Sparta, 1987 15.3 x 15.3cm, hand-painted yellow on white ceramic tile displaying the title Concrete poem. One of a group of three such tiles each with the name of a boat alongside its official registration number (Buckie in the North East of Scotland). Often shown as part of a triptych consisting of Zephyr, Shepherd Lad and Amaryllis. One of only 100 made. VG+.

SHEPHERD LAD KY 216. 1975.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1975)
15.3 x 15.3cm., blue and green handpainted on white ceramic tile with the the name of a boat SHEPHERD LAD and its registered harbour - Inverness - and number. Often shown as part of a triptych consisting of Zephyr, Shepherd Lad and Amaryllis. One of only 100 made. VG+.

AMARYLLIS BCK55. 1975. UNIQUE TRIAL PROOF WITH DIFFERENT COLOURS.

Dunsyre: Little Sparta, 1987 15.3 x 15.3cm, hand-painted yellow on white ceramic tile displaying the title Concrete poem. One of a group of three such tiles each with the name of a boat alongside its official registration number (Buckie in the North East of Scotland). Often shown as part of a triptych consisting of Zephyr, Shepherd Lad and Amaryllis. This is a unique trial proof of the design where Finlay has the colours in red and yellow - he eventually rejected this combination in favour of a single colour for both words. VG+.

THUNDERBOLT STEERS ALL. 1975. MEDALLION.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 19975
3 x4.5cm, copper and brass plated aluminium medallion with chain. With a design by Ron Costley (which originally was created for the exhibition Heroic Emblems) of a tank above which the title text - a reference to Zeus and his lightning bolts is set. The original quote comes from Heraclitus: "the Thunderbolt that steers the course of all things".
All of the Heroic Emblems showed modern machines (mostly of war) in reference to Classical myths. Originally boxed with leaflet but this example does not have those elements. Edition size not known but very hard to find.

TROMBONE CARRIER. 1975.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, 1975
11.2 x 15.2 cm, 6pp printed folder content of one 1pp printed card with three attached metal paper clips. The clips are placed into diecut slots to make the drawing of the tanker looking like it has a larger load (the paper clips resemble the metallic twists of a trombone. An unusual object multiple. VG+.

ELEGY FOR “WHIMBREL” AND “PETREL” PETROL. 1975

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1975) 15 x 15.cm, brown on white ceramic tile with a drawing by Ron Costley of a sailing boat and the text: "ELEGY FOR "WHIMBREL" AND "PETREL" PETROL" around the outside. One of only 100 made. Very scarce object multiple.

THE FOUR SEASONS AS FORE-AND-AFTERS. 1975

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1975) 10.7 x 10.7cm, black and olive green on white ceramic tile with a diagram of a sundial in the middle and the text: " THE FOUR SEASONS AS FORE-AND-AFTERS." around the outside with four names of boats "the Samuel Moss", "the Kathleen and May", "the Minnie Flossie" and "the William Ashburner" on each side - each pertaining to one of the four seasons. One of only 100 made. Very scarce object multiple.

IJN DJINN YAMATO. 1975

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1975) 7.5 x 15.2cm, red on white ceramic tile with a profile drawing of the Japanese battleship of the Yamato class (the largest in their navy) which was suck by American forces during the battle of Okinawa on April 7, 1945Above the title text "IJN DJINN YAMATO". This is perhaps the hardest of Finlay's tiles to find. VG+.

PORT DISTINGUISHING LETTERS. SQUARE TILE. 1976.

Little Sparta: Wild Hawthorn Press, n.d. (1976)
15.3 x 15.3cm, green on white ceramic tile with typography by George L. Thomson - the various port letters of Scottish fishing boats are placed in a circular design (similar to Sea Poppy and earlier prints) to create a "world" or to remind one of the way stars circle in the sky over time.

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