8vo, XII, 212pp. Hardcover with no d/w in fair condition, t.e.g with olive green boards decorated by black clover motifs with a gilt harp and titles and an unfaded spine with additional darker olive decoration though there is significant shelf wear with areas of fine insect scouring to the green pigmentation of the boards. In addition there is minor waterstaining to both boards together with an absent rear endpaper and insect damage to the top corner of the last page of the index, however the spine remains overall sound though some minor hinge damage is evident, text is in good condition with all 79 colour plates and the annotated tissue guards present and undamaged and the ffep has a dedication to Irish relatives for Christmas in 1919 as well as a prior collector’s signature from 1935. One of the famous A & C Black’s 20/- Colour Books, this copy is probably one of the rarest of them all because although the title page with a red clover imprint does not have the usual publication date in Roman Numerals, the verso clearly has “Published May 1905” printed mid page. All other copies elsewhere can only nominate 50 colour plates in a 1916 “First Edition thus” format also stating its rarity with seemingly no 1905 editions evident worldwide. This edition is probably no. 42 in Inman’s Bibliography. The magnificent artwork is by Francis Sylvester Walker (1848-1916) who was one of Ireland’s greatest ever artists currently exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland, the British Miseum and the V and A in London. It is, as always, a delightful book and made all the more so for the collector by its rarity.