The Pastorals of Virgil...

The Pastorals of Virgil...
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London: 1821. 2 vols., small 8vo, xii (-vii/viii), 12, xxiv (-i/iv), 214 pp; [I], [215]-592 pp. With an engraved frontispiece to each volume, and 230 illustrations including 17 woodcuts and 6 engraved plates by Blake, and four other designs by Blake engraved by others. Old half brown morocco, marbled boards and edges, gilt-lettered backstrips, a little scuffed and worn but internally fine. Unrecorded issue, with a slip pasted over the publisher’s imprint etc. Enclosed in a modern protective box. Internally a very fine copy of a scarce work in any condition as it was issued for use in schools. Blake contributed 17 woodcuts to this volume (as well as 10 other plates, of which he engraved six) which were not well received; nor were they well treated by the publisher who cut down the blocks and printed them poorly. Only a few proofs before they were trimmed are now extant. These blocks have remained amongst the most influential woodcuts in the history of British art and their influence can be seen from Calvert and Palmer all the way up to the present day. The blocks were saved by Linnell and were printed not long after Blake's death as separate impressions (perhaps by Calvert), and again in 1977 as a set by Iain Bain. Any impressions are now very hard to find. For a full discussion of this wonderful book, see Essick's masterly monograph A Troubled Paradise... (San Francisco: John Windle, 1999). Bentley, Blake Books, 504. Bindman 602-18. Easson and Essick I, X. Of this copy Essick noted: “There is one, perhaps interesting, variation to the usual collation. You'll observe in the image of the Title Page that prior to sale Thornton has pasted a small printed slip over the pricing details at the foot of the page. Thus it reads: 'At the French and English Juvenile Library, No. 195, (St. Clement's), Strand.) In volume II the original price note has been left intact with just the reference to '15s' obscured. I can't find any other reference to publications under the umbrella of such a Library. The obvious conclusion would be that it was a sales device by Thornton intend to dispose of unsold copies - and might provide a footnote to Blake bibliography.” (Item Id: 108070)

$45,000.00
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