San Francisco: W.E. Wood, 1903. Original dark blue-grey cloth pictorially decorated in gilt and purple.
First Edition, first issue, of this volume of verse, much of it ironic and/or satirical; some of the poems had appeared in Bierce's 1892 collection, BLACK BEETLES IN AMBER. This copy is in the presumed first state, with the two lines reversed in the third couplet on p. 71:
"We've nothing better here than bliss.
Walk in. But I must tell you this:". (Although it is presumed that the erroneous state came first, Blanck notes that the publisher's two copyright copies consisted of one of each.) SHAPES OF CLAY is in one of the more stunning bindings of the Turn of the Century era, with haunting scenes in gilt on the front cover and spine.
This is an unusually fine, bright copy. Blanck 1122. Provenance: the front endpaper bears the unusual bookplate of J.H. Ramm, plus that signature followed by "SF", and the rear endpaper bears a "chop" bearing the words "RAMM" and "ARTIST": John Henry Ramm (1879-1948) was trained as a painter but became famous as an artistic photographer -- in San Francisco. Item #14469