Clarke, Sidney W. The Annals of Conjuring. London: George Johnson, 1929. Author's Copy of the First Edition. Limited to four copies printed by the author's instructions, being the first, annotated on the limitation page, and signed and dated on the flyleaf by the author above the bookplate of his daughter D.M. Clarke. Publisher's three-quarter bound chocolate leather with cloth sides, banded spine ruled and lettered in gilt. Tipped-in halftone plates, illustrations. Large 8vo. Light rubbing at corners, preliminaries foxed. The publisher, George Johnson, placed advertisements for subscription orders of the Annals beginning in 1919, promising a Ònoteworthy Historical and Pictorial Record of Conjuring from the earliest rimes to the present day.Ó Falling short of the sufficient number of orders, even after several years of advertising, the publisher at last decided on serial publication in his magazine The Magic Wand, where it appeared in regular installments over nearly five years. At the conclusion of its serialization calls resumed for a book-form version, which the publisher obliged with apparent spite, issuing just four copies at the prohibitive price of $100. The work gained new admirers within a matter of years, and was reviewed in 1937 by H. Adrian Smith in Tops as Òthe most comprehensive history on magic ever written,Ó a superlative its next publisher (Magico) retained nearly a half century later in the long-awaited reprint edition. Most recently the work was the subject of a commemorative edition published by Miracle Factory (see Lot 181).