Blair's and Blake's
[William Blake, illustrator]. Robert Blair. The Grave,
A Poem. Illustrated By Twelve Etchings Executed From Original
Designs. To Which Is Added A Life Of The Author.
London: T. Bensley for R. Ackermann, 1813. Second edition, folio
issue. Re-issue of the original 1813 plates in blind stamped
Victorian boards. , liv, 42 pages. Engraved portrait of Blake,
etched title page and eleven full-page engravings by Louis
Schiavonetti after William Blake's designs. Original Victorian [see
extended description] publisher's blind stamped cloth, title gilt
on spine, spine rebacked with original spine laid on top. Boards
rubbed, scratched, and lightly soiled; corners bumped, lower two
corners restored, hinges reinforced, endpapers with edge chips,
holograph ink name on verso of front free endpaper, light smudges
and soiling, few spots of foxing, pencil marks on plate list. A
very good copy with original tissue plate-guards. From the Krown
& Spellman Collection.
Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.
"Cromek had promised that he would publish twenty designs engraved by Blake but, in fact, there were only twelve designs, engraved by the fashionable Schiavonetti... The book was launched with the endorsement of a group of influential Royal Academicians... Blair's Grave with Blake's designs was a great success of its kind... Blake's name was inseparably linked with Blair's Grave throughout the nineteenth century, and what general fame he had as an artist was associated with it." [Bentley.]
The 1813 edition added to the 1808 edition a portrait of Blake.
"When Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (1863) made the artist's name familiar again, a deposit of prints left over from 1813 came to light, probably in Ackerman's storehouse. Somebody (possibly John Cameron Hotton) reissued the books... There are no new title pages, no dates or places indicated; but the bindings are in mid-Victorian style, and could not have been made in the first half-century." [A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake By Samuel Foster Damon, Foreword by Morris Eaves]
Bentley 435C. Bentley & Nurmi 350C. Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790 to 1914, 6A.
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