1780. London: Harrison and co., [1780-81].
Thick small folio, frontispiece (mounted), t/p and preface, Old Testament, New Testament, concordance, general index (final leaves missing) lacking list of subscribers and ads. But with all 58 plates within elaborate frames dated variously 1780 and 1781. One cover detached, one cover missing.
§ First edition thus, issued originally in parts and perhaps thus of great rarity. The last copies to change hands were in 1993 when Essick bought his copy and in 2018 when we sold a copy to Northwestern Univeristy; he has not recorded another copy in the marketplace since. That rarity is born out by ESTC which records 4 copies in all, two at the BL (seriously imperfect), one in Oxford (Queen’s College) and one in North America (Bentley Blake Collection at Victoria University). It is noteworthy for the profusion of illustrations from classical sources, and in the five plates engraved by Blake he shows his knowledge of the work of Rubens and Raphael most likely from reproductions in earlier illustrated books. See Essick, CBI, VI. Bentley, Blake Books, 419. Darlow and Moule 1273. Item #122968