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Ian Hamilton Finlay / Wild Hawthorn Press Collection

Ian Hamilton Finlay, Upper Pool, Stonypath, 1998. Photo by Robin Gillanders from Ian Hamilton Finlay: Selections, edited and introduced by Alec Finlay, Univ. of California Press, 2012.


We are pleased to offer for sale an excellent collection of approximately 340 items, which, taken together, provides a far-reaching overview of the publications of Ian Hamilton Finlay and the Wild Hawthorn Press.

Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006), one of the most curious, compelling, and prolific poet-publishers of the last half-century, gained wide recognition in the early sixties for his work in concrete poetry (“concrete poetry is not a visual but a silent poetry” he wrote), and his magazine, Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. (1962–1967). Finlay’s Wild Hawthorn Press (founded in 1961) provided a platform for his work with a wide range of collaborating artists, photographers, printers, calligraphers, and designers in an array of formats, including books and booklets, cards and folding cards, poems/prints, proposals, and assorted other publications. This work extended to Stonypath, later known as Little Sparta (the extraordinary garden he created with his wife Sue Finlay, set in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Scotland), as well as poem-objects, constructions, and sculptures that have been exhibited, collected, and written about internationally.

The present collection includes key examples of all styles, phases, and periods of Finlay’s printed work and as such offers a singular opportunity for research and exhibition with reference to a range of concerns, including artists’ books, concrete poetry, design, collaboration, gardens, little magazines, and small presses. There are many rarities in the collection of approximately 100 books and booklets, 150 cards and folding cards, 15 poems/prints, 25 exhibition catalogs and related books, an almost complete run of Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., and a unique fabric sculpture, a prototype for an abandoned edition from the early eighties. Additionally of note, there are seventeen signed limited editions and twenty-two items inscribed and/or addressed and mailed to longtime friend, the New York-based, British-born painter, Trevor Winkfield, several with substantial notes.


Selected Highlights and Selections from the Collection

For sale as a collection, not as individual items.

For checklist, contact

Measurements are given in inches, width by height. Wild Hawthorn Press abbreviated WHP;
Ian Hamilton Finlay abbreviated IHF.

click images to view larger (then use arrow keys to view all images as a gallery)



IHF, ed. Fish-Sheet One. [WHP], [1963].

Single sheet printed on one side and folded in half as issued, approx. 13 x 8-1/8.



IHF, ed. Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., no. 2. [1962].

Single sheet folded once to make four pages,
8-1/2 x 11.


Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., no. 11. [1963].

Single sheet folded once to make four pages,
8-1/4 x 10.


Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., no. 12. [1963].

Saddle stitched, 8-1/8 x 10-1/4.


Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., no. 24. [1967].

Saddle stitched, 6-5/8 x 9.



Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., no. 20. [1966].

Saddle stitched, 9-3/4 x 7.





The Blue and the Brown Poems. Atlantic Richfield Company and Graphic Arts Typographers, Inc. / Jargon Society, 1968.

Front cover and the month December “ring | cork | net” shown.

Calendar with wire spiral binding at top edge including hook for hanging. 12 poem prints with commentaries by Stephen Bann. Introduction by Jonathan Williams. Foreword by Mike Weaver. Calendar design by Herbert M. Rosenthal. Jargon 68, 15 x 20.


[SSN 571], n.d. [early eighties].

This is a fully developed handmade prototype for a battleship tea cosy, approx. 11 (l) x 5-1/2 (w) x 7-1/2 (h). It is constructed of hand-stitched, quilted, mauve satin. Please see checklist for full description.


6 Small Songs in 3’s. WHP, 1966.

Saddle stitched with printed jacket. Linocuts by Zeljko Kujundzic. Handprinted at the Salamander Press, 4 x 8.



IHF and Gordon Huntly. A Sailor’s Calendar:
A Miscellany. Something Else Press, 1971.

Interleaves and ring binding, 5 x 7.



Ronald Johnson, tr. and Erik Satie. Sports and Divertissments. WHP, 1965.

Plastic comb-bound wrappers. Drawings by John Furnival. 7 x 10.


Louis Zukofsky. 16 Once Published. WHP, 1962.

Stapled wrappers with dust jacket. Linocuts by James Gavin. 5 x 8.


John Furnival. Polar. WHP, 1965.

Silkscreen print, 22 x 17.


Sea-Poppy 1 (Fishing Boat Letters and Numbers). WHP, 1968.

Card printed on both sides. Set by Alistair Cant, 6-1/4 x 6-1/4.


Sea-Poppy 2 (Fishing Boat Names). WHP, 1968.

Card printed on both sides. Set by Peter Grant, 6-1/4 x 6-1/4.


IHF and Ron Costley. Sails/Waves 2. WHP, [1971].

Card printed on both sides. Design for wall ceramic. Screen print, 4-1/8 x 5-7/8.


IHF and Margo Sandeman. 3 Names of Barges 4 Names for Barges. WHP, [1969].

Card printed on both sides, 6-3/4 x 5.



Telegrams from my Windmill. WHP, [1964].

Saddle stitched with printed dust jacket. Inscribed by IHF to Louis Zukofsky.
7-1/2 x 5.




Rhymes for Lemons. WHP, [1970].

Accordion-fold book consisting of four long narrow strips glued together. Unfolded approx. 12 feet long; folded size approx.
8 x 4-1/2. This is no. 26 from an edition of 300 and is signed by IHF.




The Olsen Excerpts. Verlag Udo Breger, 1971.

Saddle stitched. Photographs by Diane Tammes. 6-1/4 x 6.



Honey by the Water. Black Sparrow Press, 1973.

Quarter-bound boards. Afterword by Stephen Bann. This is no. 2 from an edition of 200 and is signed by IHF. 8 x 11.


IHF and Martin Fidler. The Wild Hawthorn Wonder Book of Boats. WHP, [1975].

Saddle stitched with printed dust jacket, 4 x 6.




3 Blue Lemons. WHP, 1968.

Postcard printed on both sides, 6-3/4 x 5. Printed by hand at the Salamander Press.





IHF and Margot Sandeman. A Patch for a Rip-tide: Sail. WHP, [1970].

Card printed on both sides. Screen print, 6-1/2 x 5.





IHF and A. Doyle Moore. Zulu ‘Chieftain’. WHP, [1971].

Card printed on both sides. Screen print, 5-3/4 x 4.




IHF and Jim Downie. Wordsworth / Wadsworth. WHP, [1977].

Card printed on both sides,
6-1/2 x 4.




Other and Still Other Waters Flow. [WHP], 1986.

Folding card. Scored but not folded. 5 x 3.





IHF and Sydney McK. Glen. A Full-Rigged Ship / In the Manner of Fuseli: The Archangel of Archangel. WHP, 1970.

Lithograph print, 7-1/2 x 10, in a three-fold cover, with colophon on last panel. Published for Christmas 1970. This is no. 90 from an edition of 300 and is signed by IHF.




IHF and Michael Harvey. Necktank (1918). WHP, [1973].

Print, 17-1/4 x 14.




IHF and Ron Costley. Gourd. WHP, [1974].

Silkscreen print in folder, 8-1/4 x 11. Printed by P.K.M. Studios. This is no. 18 from an edition of 350 and is signed by IHF.




IHF and Trevor Winkfield. [Domestic Pensées.] N.p., [1976].

IHF kept a work at Stonypath described by poet-publisher Stuart Mills as “not a diary, a notebook, or a logbook yet it captures a mood more accurately than a punctilious record of the facts could ever hope to.” Trevor Winkfield was so captivated by this manuscript that during a visit in 1976, he wisely and dutifully copied some 250 samples into a 32 pp. booklet that is included in the collection. A few examples: “Pins are best picked up singly,” “The Chaos before the Storm,” “Birthdays end in tears,” “In Arcady there are always towels in the bathroom.” Twenty-eight years later, in 2004, Stuart Mills published the work as Domestic Pensées at his Aggie Weston’s Editions.



IHF and Gary Hincks. After Bernini. WHP, [1987].

Lithograph print, 18 x 28.





[IHF and Ron Costley]. The Medium Is the Message. [WHP], [1987].

Silkscreen print, 23 x 30.




A Remembrance of R.L.S.: West Pronces Street Gardens, Edinburgh: A Proposal for The Robert Louis Stevenson Club. WHP, 1987.

Stapled wrappers with dust jacket with printed label. Illustrated by Kathleen Lindsley. 6 x 8.


A Country Lane with Stiles. WHP, 1988.

Saddle stitched with printed dust jacket. Illustrations by Laurie Clark. 4 x 6.



IHF and George L. Thomson. Butterfly Garden. WHP, [1979].

Printed envelope, 5 x 7, with twelve tags printed with variant styles of the word “butterfly” and ties.



Saint-Just Sundial Badge. [WHP], [1981].

Red pin-back button (2 inches diameter) with sundial image. Reads “Too Many Laws Too Few Examples.”



Strathclyde Times. [WHP], 1983.

Single newsprint sheet printed on both sides, 11-1/2 x 8. Section of front page, June 17, 1983.


IHF and Ron Costley. Heroic Emblems. Z Press, 1977.

Wrappers. Introduction and commentaries by Stephen Bann. 6 x 9.


[Sarkis and IHF]. Adrian Harding. Blinds: Little Sparta and Kriegsschatz. Editions Lebeer Hossmann, 1985.

Wrappers. Published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Association pour l’Art Contemporain, Nevers, France for Espace, Rameau — Chapelle Sainte-Marie, March 9–April 12, 1985. French and English. 5-1/2 x 8.


Christopher McIntosh. Coincidence in the Work of Ian Hamilton Finlay. Graeme Murray Gallery, 1980.

Saddle stitched with printed jacket. Printed on the occasion of an exhibition at Graeme Murray Gallery. 5-1/2 x 8-1/4.


[IHF and Sue Finlay.] Nature Over Again After Poussin: Some Discovered Landscapes. [Collins Exhibition Hall, University of Strathclyde], [1980].

Stapled wrappers with printed dust jacket. Landscapes prepared by IHF and Sue Finlay. Introduction by Stephan Bann. Catalog designed by IHF and Colin Wilson. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at Collins Exhibition Hall, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 1980. 4-3/4 x 9-1/4.



Pacific. WHP, [1975].

Single pink sheet (prospectus) printed on one side, 8 x 13.




Detached Sentences on Friendship. WHP, 1991.

Saddle stitched with printed dust jacket. Illustrations by Kathleen Lindsley, 3 x 4.



Evening Will Come They Will Sew the Blue Sail. Graeme Murray, 1991.

Paper over boards. English and Spanish. Includes two essays by Edwin Morgan. Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Ian Hamilton Finlay & the Wild Hawthorn Press, 1958–1991,” at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, during the 1991 Edinburgh International Festival. Exhibition announcement/book prospectus and ALS from Graeme Murray to Steven Clay laid in, 4-1/4 x 11-1/2.




IHF and Gary Hincks. Les Femmes de la Révolution, After Anselm Kiefer. WHP, 1992.

Card printed on both sides,
7 x 5-1/2.



Streiflichter: Six Inscribed Fragments Concerning the French Revolution 1789–1805. Nolan/Eckman Gallery, 1994.

Wrappers, 5 x 4.



You Cannot Step into the Same River / Revolution Twice. [WHP], [1994].

Single sheet printed on one side, 11 x 7-1/4.



IHF and Pia Maria Simig. Huff Lane. WHP, 2000.

Paper over boards with label. Photographs by Robin Gillanders. Printed and bound by Colin Sackett. Published by WHP for Christmas 2000. This is from an edition of 300 copies, 8-1/2 x 7.



For sale as a collection, not as individual items.

Please contact for information, checklist, and price.