William Blake’s Watercolour Inventions in Illustration of The Grave by Robert Blair; Edited with Essays and Commentary by Martin Butlin and an Essay on the Poem by Morton D. Paley.

[N. P.]: The William Blake Trust, 2009. Folio, 95pp. Original quarter-maroon calf with black moiré silk-covered boards, with gilt lettered maroon-morocco label to top board, backstrip likewise stamped in gilt; portfolio in full maroon calf containing 17 of 19 watercolors (and one duplicate) reproduced in facsimile, mounted within framing lines on heavy beige paper, black moiré silk-covered double slipcase; illustrated throughout with color reproductions of watercolor drawings, as well as engravings. Out of series trial copy of the de luxe edition, limited to 36 copies. The entire edition is out of print. From the announcement: “These watercolor designs, which disappeared from the public eye from 1836-2001, came to light in a Glasgow bookshop, and were [later] offered as an entity to institutions and collectors at a price which, as it turned out, none could afford, or at least, was prepared to pay. Eventually, in the face of much protest, the portfolio and the 19 designs were offered for sale in 20 separate lots at Sotheby’s, New York, in 2006. The drawings are now widely dispersed and it is most unlikely that they will ever again be seen together.” The sale was roundly condemned at the time as an act of cultural crime. This book and the facsimile portfolio are now the only record we will ever have of the original series. Happily, the Blake Trust created a superb book, which is and will surely remain the single most valuable reference work on these remarkable Blake drawings. Item #107743

Price: $2,950.00

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