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 black silk binding, with morocco labels, stamped in gilt, to top board and backstrip, black cloth-covered slipcase; illustrated throughout with color reproductions of watercolor drawings, as well as engravings. As new. First edition, limited to 186 copies, out of print on publication. 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 in the de luxe issue) 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 Id: 110704)

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