Catalogue of The Celebrated Collection of Books Illuminated and Illustrated by William Blake, the Property of the late Mrs William Emerson.
London: Sotheby and Co., 1958. 4to,20pp, with 3 colored and 7 black and white plates, plus text illustration. Original wrappers, Near fine condition. Bentley, BB, 682A. The sale held on 19th May, 1958, included in the 15 lots the largest group of illuminated books by Blake then in private ownership, being mostly the collection of William White inherited by his daughter Mrs. Emerson. Among the highlights were the Gaisford copy of the Book of Thel, 1789; an uncut copy of Songs of Innocence, 1789; the Hanrott copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, 1789-94, contemporary red morocco; Visions of the Daughters of Albion, 1793; Europe, 1794; and the only copy in private ownership of the Song of Los, 1795, bound together, which sold for £23,000, then the highest price ever paid for a book at auction, surpassing the 1946 sale of a Gutenberg Bible; the Crewe copy of America, 1793; a colored copy of Young's Night Thoughts; a tempera painting of St Matthew together with three of the illustrations for Tiriel, and an unpublished design for Blair's The Grave, the Property of Eustace Bishop, Esq. This latter, which is now at Yale, was used as the flimsy excuse for breaking up the remaining Grave watercolors when they were discovered in Scotland in the early 2000s.
(Item Id: 108921)