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Blake in the Marketplace, 1991
After several extremely active years, the market in Blake’s illuminated books slowed in 1991. Indeed, as far as I can determine, no complete copies changed hands. As if in compensation, both private and institutional collectors indulged in a lively exchange of Blake’s drawings and separate prints. Two of the most significant works to find new owners, the splendid water color of The Death of St. Joseph (illus. 5) and the haunting tempera of Evening (illus. 6), did so without benefit of auctioneers or dealers. Both were given to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, by generous benefactors. Less important drawings, including one untraced since 1880 and another (illus. 4) lost to sight for 34 years, continued to appear in London salerooms. A partly hand-colored impression of Blake’s largest print, “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” changed hands privately (see illus. 8-9). Several important separate plates, including “The Man Sweeping the Interpreter’s Parlour” (illus. 10) and only the second extant impression of “The Chaining of Orc” (illus. 7), appeared in the same Sotheby’s New York auction on 9 May. The sale also brought to market 10 plates from For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise (illus. 1-2)—the first group to be sold since 1966—and a previously unknown relief etching of four of Blake’s Virgil illustrations. The prices fetched by these works indicate that the high end of the Blake market remains largely unaffected by the widely-reported downturn in prices for Impressionist and contemporary art and the weakness in all but the very finest British paintings and water colors. “Orc” set a new record for any single print by Blake (excluding the large color prints that the marketplace always treats as paintings). “The Man Sweeping” fetched more than 10 times the price of the last impression sold at auction (1980), while the final-state plates from The Gates of Paradise exceeded the pre-sale high estimate by over 400%. In this context the price for the Virgil relief etching—only 50% above the high estimate—seems modest. This anomaly can be accounted for by the fact that at least one expert in the field considered the Virgil print to be a fake, and thus Sotheby’s was forced to offer the work as only “attributed” to Blake. Taken together, the prices at this remarkable auction and the money paid for Blake’s illuminated books over the last three years indicate that Blake is now appreciated by collectors principally as a printmaker. His drawings, particularly those lacking color, are in comparison considerably undervalued.
The Heim Gallery of London presented an exhibition of British History Paintings, 1750-1830, as its annual spring show for 1991. All but a few of the 142 paintings, drawings, and prints were for sale, generally at record prices (e.g., £500 for individual plates from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery). There were no Blakes, but the show included several paintings by Stothard, two drawings by Fuseli, and a good many prints after both artists. All these and other relevant works are individually listed below. The handsome catalogue, complete with color reproductions and essays by Martin Butlin, Martin Postle, Peter Cannon-Brookes, David Alexander, and Geoffrey Ashton, is well worth having. I understand that the Heim Gallery has now shut its doors, perhaps for good. Another career ruined by over-reaching ambitions in history painting?
In my review of 1989 sales (Blake 24 : 220-37), I briefly noted the availability of the Edwin Wolf 2nd collection of Blake and Blakeana. After the 350 or so volumes and offprints failed to sell at a reported asking price of £100,000, the dealer (or dealers?) who owned the collection turned them all over to Sotheby’s London for sale at a 6 June auction. The books were parcelled out into 28 lots, some with as many as 25 volumes and clearly aimed at the trade rather than individual collectors. Since the total of the high estimates was only £31,750 (less Sotheby’s 10% commission), the owners had decreased their expectations considerably without trying the alternative sales approach of offering the books individually in a catalogue. The rationale for their marketing strategy escape me.
Nine of the lots in the Wolf sale consisted of volumes with engravings by or after Blake. Since most of these lots contained more than one work, they cannot be divided sensibly into my usual title-by-title accounting of sales. Accordingly, I list immediately below the relevant lots in the Wolf auction. Most of the 19 lots of secondary works were purchased by the Japanese dealer, Rinsen. For the 2 lots containing manuscript and typescript materials, see under Interesting Blakeana, below.
#94. Wit’s Magazine, 1784-85, with Bentley’s pl. 2 as the general frontispiece, contemporary half calf. Lavater, Aphorisms on Man, 1788, some spotting, contemporary calf. Lavater, Aphorisms, 1794, marbled boards. Enfield, The Speaker, 1797, contemporary calf rebacked, with a copy of the 1799 ed. containing a re-engraving of Blake’s pl. Allen, New and Improved History of England, 1798, contemporary calf rebacked, pl. 1 illus. £880 to a bidder on the telephone, listed as “Zioni” in the price list.
#95. Hunter, Historical Journal, 1793, quarto issue, some heavy spotting, contemporary half calf rebacked, Blake’s pl. illus. Bought-in at £750 on an estimate of £1500-2000.
#96. Scott, Poetical Works, 1782, pls. spotted, worn calf. Ritson, A Select Collection of English Songs, 1783, 3 vols., Sir Walter Scott’s coat-of-arms stamped in gilt on the spines, contemporary calf worn. Hayley, The Triumphs of Temper, 1803, begin page 145 | contemporary morocco, pl. 5 illus. Zioni, £935.
#97. Gay, Fables, 1793, 1st ed., 2 vols., leaves spotted, contemporary calf worn. Malkin, A Father’s Memoirs of his Child, 1806, ownership inscription of Lionel Johnson, bookplate of John Quinn, contemporary calf rebacked. Remember Me!, 1825, original pink engraved boards, rebacked, with original pictorial slipcase, Blake’s pl. (“Hiding of Moses”) illus. Remember Me!, 1826, the only copy of this reissue recorded in Bentley, some leaves browned, contemporary morocco. Justin Schiller, £1540. The 1826 issue of Remember Me! is now in the Essick collection.
#98. Cumberland, Thoughts on Outline, 1796, inscribed “From the Author” on the half-title, some pls. very foxed, original boards uncut, worn. Flaxman, Iliad illustrations, 1805, with the Odyssey illustrations, 1805, both in original boards with cover labels, worn. Flaxman, Hesiod illustrations, 1817, original boards, worn, pl. 12 illus. Pirages, £1980. Same copies, apparently with some repairs, Phillip Pirages, Oct. cat. 21, #74, Cumberland’s Outlines, 1 pl. illus. ($2250—a record asking price?); #167, Flaxman’s Hesiod, 1 pl. illus. ($1750—a record asking price?); #168, Flaxman’s Iliad and Odyssey, 1 pl. illus. ($850).
#99. Stedman, Narrative, 1796, 2 vols., some spotting, a few leaves torn, uncut, contemporary half calf rebacked. Tamura Shoten, £1760.
#100. Young, Night Thoughts, 1797, with the “Explanation” leaf, some borders trimmed, slight soiling, contemporary calf rebacked, worn, pl. 32 illus. Zioni, £3080.
#101. Blair, The Grave, 1808 quarto, original boards with cover label, worn and rebacked, pl. 12 illus. Hayley, Life of Cowper, 1803-04, 3 vols., 1st ed., plus the supplementary vol. of 1806, all uncut in original marbled boards, worn. Hayley, Life of Romney, 1809, browned, original boards, rebacked and worn. Lavater, Essays on Physiognomy, 1789-98, 3 vols. in 5, some leaves browned, each vol. with the bookplate of the Earl of Chichester, contemporary calf worn. With 3 other, unnamed, works in 5 vols., probably comprising Wolf’s copies of Josephus, Works, c. 1795; Darwin, The Botanic Garden, 1791 (2 vols. bound in 1); and his second copy of Hayley, Life of Cowper, 1803-06 (4 vols. bound in 3). Zioni, £2530.
#102. Stedman, Narrative, 1813, 2 vols., “all but a few” pls. hand colored, one of Blake’s pls. misbound and uncolored, contemporary half calf, rebacked and worn, pl. 5, “The Skinning of the Aboma Snake,” illus. color. Bought-in at £1100.
Another Blake collection, considerably smaller than Wolf’s, was dispersed late in 1991. The group of books with Blake’s commercial book engravings, basic secondary materials, and prints by Samuel Palmer was assembled by Oscar Lewenstein of Sussex. In October, the Tate Gallery acquired most of the books containing Blake’s engravings. For those who might wish to make use of the Tate’s holdings in the future, the following listing of volumes from the Lewenstein collection may be
At least two sales coming late in 1991 indicated some weakness in the Blake market, even for fairly rare materials. Note particularly the prices fetched by the auction lots containing “The Fall of Rosamond” and “Hiding of Moses” under Separate Plates, below. However, an unusual combination of Blake’s Night Thoughts and Grave illustrations bound together commanded a handsome price at a New York auction in December (see Young under Letterpress Books with Engravings, below) and some of the better books with Blake’s engravings from the Lewenstein collection did well in London in the same month. None of these results is a reliable predictor of what will happen to the high end of the market in coming months.
The year of all sales and catalogues in the following lists is 1991 unless indicated otherwise. The auction houses add their purchaser’s surcharge to the hammer price in their price lists. These net amounts are given here, following the official price lists. Late 1991 sales will be covered in the 1992 review. I am grateful for help in compiling this review to G. E. Bentley, Jr., Nancy Bialler of Sotheby’s New York, Martin Butlin, Michael Campbell, Detlef Dörrbecker (my source for all Continental sales), Andrew Edmunds, Ruth Fine, John E. Grant, Paul Grinke of Quaritch, Alan Jutzi, Thomas V. Lange (almost a co-compiler begin page 146 | of this and earlier sales lists), Christopher Powney, Justin Schiller, Robert R. Wark, Henry Wemyss of Sotheby’s London, and John Windle. Thanks also to Robert Schlosser for his fine photographic work and to the Academic Senate, University of California, Riverside, for a research grant to pay the bill. Like all contributors to this journal, I am greatly indebted to Patricia Neill for her editorial expertise.
|BBA||Bloomsbury Book Auctions, London|
|Bentley||G. E. Bentley, Jr., Blake Books (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977). Plate numbers and copy designations for Blake’s illuminated books follow Bentley.|
|Butlin||Martin Butlin, The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, 2 vols. (New Haven: Yale UP, 1981)|
|cat.||catalogue or sales list issued by a dealer (usually followed by a number or letter designation) or auction house (followed by the day and month of sale)|
|CNY||Christie’s, New York|
|E||The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. David V. Erdman (Berkeley: U of California Press, 1982). All quotations of Blake’s writings are taken from this text.|
|illus.||the item or part thereof is reproduced in the catalogue|
|SNY||Sotheby’s, New York|
|st(s).||state(s) of an engraving, etching, or lithograph|
|Swann||Swann Galleries, auctioneers, New York|
|#||auction lot or catalogue item number|
For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise. Unrecorded copy, pls. 3-8, 13-15, 17 (inscribed 1-6, 11-13, 15 in the pls.) only, all in final (fourth?) st., very well printed in black on wove paper without watermark. The paper has a smoother texture, and is more ivory in color, than the white Whatman wove of copy F, with which these pls. were compared. All probably from the same printing, given the uniformity in paper type, ink color, and pressure and quality of printing. Sheet sizes: pls. 3 (12.9 × 10.5 cm.), 4 (13.7 × 11.7 cm.), 5 (10.6 × 9.5 cm.), 6 (10.5 × 9.4 cm.), 7 (11.7 × 9.5 cm.), 8 (10.6 × 7.6 cm.), 13 (10.3 × 10.2 cm.), 14 (12.2 × 11.3 cm.), 15 (21.9 × 14.3 cm.), 17 (11.3 × 8.1 cm.). Pl. 15 bound into an extra-illustrated copy of Gilchrist, Life of Blake (1863), vol. 1, the other pls. mounted on sheets of wove paper and bound into the same volume. As Joseph Viscomi has pointed out to me, the sheet size of pl. 15 is very close to those in copies C and D, and thus this new group may have been produced in the same print run. For provenance, see “The Chaining of Orc” in the Appendix to this sales review. SNY, 9 May, #8, with the copy of Gilchrist also containing an impression of “Orlando Uprooting a Pine,” Blake after Stothard from Hoole’s translation of the Orlando Furioso, Gates pl. 7 (“Fire”) illus. ($115,500 on an estimate of $15,000-25,000 to a private client bidding on the telephone. The new owner has not responded to my inquiry kindly passed on by Sotheby’s). See illus. 1-2.
FIRST EDITIONS OF BLAKE’S WRITINGS FIRST PUBLISHED IN LETTERPRESS IN BLAKE’S LIFETIME
Poetical Sketches, copy E. Pickering and Chatto, Jan. cat. 686, #164, title page illus. (“Price on request.”) Sold spring 1991 to an American private collector.
DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS
The Awards of Athene. SL, 11 April, #42, the property of an American private collector, illus. (not sold on an estimate of £6000-9000). Acquired Dec. by R. Essick from the estate of the vendor through the agency of Henry Wemyss of Sotheby’s and Christopher Powney. See illus. 3.
The Bed of Death. CL, 9 July, #86, illus. (Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, £3520 on an estimate of £2000-3000). The drawing is not currently for sale but is part of the private collection of the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries. See illus. 4.
The Death of St. Joseph. Acquired 1991 by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. See illus. 5.
Evening. Acquired 1990 by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. See illus. 6.
Hecate (or The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy). Pencil, 24.2 × 27.8 cm., a preliminary sketch for the large color print of 1795. Butlin #319. Sold Feb. by the begin page 147 | London dealer Sims Reed Ltd. to D. Heald, New York. Acquired May from Heald by R. Essick. For illus., see Blake 25 (1991): 120. The drawing has been lined in recent years with semitransparent tissue, but when held to a backing light a pencil inscription can be seen on the verso, “3 Guineas [lined through] / 1 Guinea.” The hand seems to me the same as the one exemplified by the similar verso inscription on The Dead Bad-Doers (or Dead Ardours, Butlin #232), “1 Guinie [sic] / 2 Guineas [lined through].” Butlin attributes this pencil note to the dealer Francis Harvey, and thus the Hecate drawing may have the same conjectural provenance in the second half of the nineteenth century as The Dead Bad-Doers: “?sold to [the dealer] Evans by 1863; ?Harvey by c. 1880.” This speculation fills at least a small gap, for Butlin records no ownership for Hecate between Frederick Tatham, who died in 1878, and Otto Schulze, who sold the drawing to W. Graham Robertson in 1905.
Jonathan. Pencil, 25.4 × 18.4 cm. on paper with a “JH/1818” watermark. Unrecorded until 1986. CL, 9 July, #85, illus. (£1650 to the dealer Christopher Powney on an estimate of £2000-3000). For illus. of this Visionary Head before considerable restoration work, see Blake 20 (1986): 16.
Lady Macbeth and the Sleeping Duncan. Pen, gray and brown washes over pencil, on paper with a J WHATMAN watermark, 32.7 × 42.6 cm., datable to c. 1784-86. Inscribed “Blake” lower right, perhaps a signature, partly trimmed off. Verso pencil sketch, probably of the same subject, reversed. Butlin #249, then untraced. Available at Thos. Agnew and Sons, London, fall 1991; apparently sold early 1992 to a private collector. For illus. and details, see Martin Butlin, “Two Newly Identified Sketches for Thomas Commins’s ‘An Elegy’ and further Rediscovered Drawings of the 1780s,” forthcoming in Blake.
Milton’s First Wife, from the smaller Blake-Varley Sketchbook. Pencil, sheet 15.5 × 20.5 cm. Butlin #692.96. Sold summer 1990 by Christopher Powney to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Two Heads in Profile (recto); detailed drawings for The Man who Built the Pyramids (verso). From the smaller Blake-Varley Sketchbook. Pencil, sheet 15.5 × 20.5 cm. Butlin #692.103, 104. Sold summer 1990 by Christopher Powney to the Snite Museum, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
SEPARATE PLATES AND PLATES IN SERIES, INCLUDING PLATES EXTRACTED FROM LETTERPRESS BOOKS
An album of mounted pls. “related to Blake including impressions from copper plates,” not further described. BBA, 14 Feb., #172 (Rainer, £60).
Allen, New and Improved Roman History, 1798. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #21-23, pls. 2-4 extracted, illus. (£225 each).
Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, 1783. For Blake’s pl. from, see For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise, under Illuminated Books, above.begin page 148 |
“Beggar’s Opera, Act III,” 1790. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #31, extracted “from a posthumous edition,” st. not identified, illus. (£250).
Blair, Grave, 1808. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #30, complete pls. extracted from the 1808 quarto, “Death of the Strong Wicked Man” illus. (bargains at £38 each).
“Chaining of Orc,” 1812 or 1813. SNY, 9 May, #6, illus. ($101, 750 on an estimate
“Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” 2nd st., colored. Sold Sept. by Donald McKell to R. Essick through the agency of John Windle. See illus. 8-9.
“Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” uncolored. Donald Heald, March private offer, 5th (final) st., a previously unrecorded impression, very well printed on thin laid paper with chain lines 2.9 cm. apart, image 30.5 × 94.6 cm., plate mark 35.5 × 96.5 cm. (very faint), unevenly trimmed sheet approx. 44 × 103.5 cm. (acquired August by R. Essick). Provenance: acquired at a Philadelphia house sale by a local book and print dealer, spring 1990; acquired summer 1990 by Heald. The only other recorded example on laid paper is an impression on the identical stock in the New York Public Library. The Philadelphia provenance of the new impression, coupled with the fact that the New York print was given to the Library in Nov. 1941, makes one suspicious that both are restrikes by the Philadelphia dealer Charles Sessler, who began selling them in April 1941. However, the New York print was stained by the paste used on the backing and discolored when received by the Library; such time-caused damage could not have arisen in only 6 or 7 months. All recorded Sessler pulls are either on a wove paper with a “FRANCE” watermark or on silk. Further, the new impression shows considerably more stipple on the pilgrim’s faces than any Sessler impression I have seen, indicating that it is very probably an earlier pull. Indeed, the lack of wear on faces, and the printing of the drypoint sketching for the title letters, offset slightly from their engraved forms, are comparable to these same features in the 4th-st. impression in the Huntington Library. My tentative conclusion is that 5th-st. impressions on the type of laid paper described here are among the earliest pulls of that st.
CL, 14 May, #6, 3rd st., a previously unrecorded impression on “laid paper” (according to the auction cat.), wide margins, illus. ($12,100 on an estimate of $6000-8000).
John Windle, Oct. cat. 1, #35, 5th st., Sessler restrike, the full sheet as printed, stains from old mounting tape along margins, small repair center top margin, very small abrasion in the lower margin above “God” in the inscription, illus. ($8500)begin page 149 |
Dante engravings. SL, 6 Dec. 1990, #219, pl. 7 only, “The Circle of the Traitors,” and #220, pl. 3 only, “The Circle of the Corrupt Officials,” each supposedly a “proof [sic] before the edition of 1838,” but more probably an early printing on laid paper, both illus., pl. 3 showing surprisingly little burr for an early impression (£3300 each on estimates of £5000-6000 each). David Mayou, Jan. private offer, complete set, apparently on laid India (“region” of £27,000). Jeffrey Stern, Feb. cat. 9, #217, complete suite, India “on thick laid [actually wove] paper,” with 2 copies of the printed label, loose in a morocco portfolio (£30,000; previously offered Jan. 1990 cat. 8, #340, £34,000). Weston Gallery, March cat. 2, #15, “The Circle of the Corrupt Officials” only, fine impression on laid paper (and thus perhaps before the first recorded printing of 1838), illus. ($13,580); #16, “The Circle of the Lustful” only, India paper laid on wove, perhaps from the first recorded printing on thick Colombier backing paper (according to the cat. entry), illus. ($13,580). SL, 12 Dec., #172, 2 pls. only, “The Devils Tormenting Ciampolo” and “Agnolo Brunelleschi Attacked by a Six-Footed Serpent,” laid India, “probably from the 1892 edition,” some staining, some creases and tears in edges (£825 on an estimate of £1000-1500).
“The Fall of Rosamond,” Blake after Stothard. SL, 12 Dec., #171, 1st st., printed in black ink on laid paper, trimmed irregularly to and into the border line, with fragments of the imprint, with Blake’s pls. 1-3 from Stuart and Revett’s Antiquities of Athens and the 1977 British Museum Publications portfolio of Virgil restrikes (£605 to D. Heald for R. Essick). This impression of “The Fall of Rosamond” shows that the imprint was indeed present in the 1st st. (the other two recorded 1st-st. impressions have the imprint area trimmed off). The print was purchased at an unknown time by the vendor, Oscar Lewenstein, for £88 from Sotheran’s of Sackville Street, London.
“Hiding of Moses” from Remember Me! (1825). SL, 14 Nov., #101, descender of the “g” in title inscription slightly trimmed, some staining, with Lavater, Essays on Physiognomy (1810), 5 vols., uncut in modern boards, original spine labels preserved; Benoit, Blake le Visionnaire (1909); and Wright, Life of Blake (1929); 8 vols. in all from the collection of Pamela and Raymond Lister (£264 to Pickering & Chatto for John Windle for R. Essick). “Hiding of Moses” is now in the collection of Detlef W. Dörrbecker.
Job engravings. Print Connections, winter 1990-91 cat. 7, #1, pl. 6 only, published “Proof” on laid India, illus. (£1950). Weston Gallery, March cat. 2, #14, pl. 5 only, regular issue on Whatman paper, illus. ($3880). Campbellbegin page 150 |
“Man Sweeping the Interpreter’s Parlour,” c. 1822(?). SNY, 9 May, #7, illus. ($60,500 on an estimate of $20,000-30,000 to the dealer N. W. Lott for stock, price on application). See illus. 10 and the Appendix to this sales review.
“Morning Amusement” and “Evening Amusement,” the pair after Watteau. SL, 6 June, #93, printed in black, slightly spotted and soiled, mounted in a scrap book “with other engraved plates and book illustrations of the same period and similar material,” but apparently not by Blake, “Evening Amusement” illus. (Rinsen, £990).
Rees, Cyclopaedia, 1819-20. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #25-29, 5 of Blake’s pls. extracted, lacking only pl. 6, details from 2 pls. illus. (£55 to £120 each).
Stedman, Narrative, 1796. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #19, pl. 10 only, “A Surinam Planter in his Morning Dress,” from the 1st ed., illus. (£175); #20, pl. 1 only, “A Coromantyn Free Negro, or Ranger, armed,” from the 1st ed., illus. (£145).
Varley, Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy, 1828. Pl. 2 only, “Gemini,” “Cancer,” and “Ghost of a Flea,” 1st st. before addition of “See Page 54.” Acquired summer 1991, with a group of Blake copy engravings, by David Bindman from a London dealer; sold Sept. by Bindman to R. Essick.
Virgil illustrations. Kenneth Karmiole, Jan. private offer, 9 wood engravings only, Linnell reprints bound in a green cloth oblong volume, from the collection of Moncure Biddle and with his bookplate ($1000). SNY, 9 May, #9, a previously unknown relief etching of cuts 2-5, with small patches of hand tinting in black, illus. ($15,400 on an estimate of $7000-10,000 to D. Heald for R. Essick). See also “The Fall of Rosamond” above. For more information on the relief etching, see the Appendix to this review and Essick, “A Relief Etching of Blake’s Virgil Illustrations,” Blake 25 (1991-92): 117-27.
LETTERPRESS BOOKS WITH ENGRAVINGS BY AND AFTER BLAKE
See also the list of lots from the Wolf auction, above.
Allen, Roman History, 1798. Stuart Bennett, March cat. 17, #2, contemporary calf rebacked ($1350).
Ariosto, Orlando Furioso. Hartfield Books, June cat. 41, #L-37, 1799 ed., 5 vols., calf and marbled boards ($795). The Bookpress, Oct. cat. 59, #14, 1783 ed., 5 vols., tree calf, some hinges cracking ($425).
Ayloffe, Account of Some Ancient Monuments in Westminster Abbey, 1780. John Windle, May cat. 8, #25, sheets untrimmed and unbound, apparently as originally issued without the Vetusta Monumenta title page, “edges soiled and frayed, text and plates very clean” ($1750); same copy and price, Oct. cat. 1, #40.
Blair, Grave. Swann, 10 Jan., #49, 1870 issue, marginal spotting and dampstaining, rubbed ($358). Heritage Book Shop, Feb. private offer, 1808 quarto, engraved title page trimmed at bottom, internally clean, full calf ($600). Pickering & Chatto, May cat. 136, #7, 1813 quarto, half morocco over marbled boards, “plates expertly washed” ($1750—a record asking price for this ed.); same copy and price, July cat. 687, #24, “Death of the Strong Wicked Man” illus. Chapel Hill Rare Books, July cat. 60, #81, 1808 quarto, “Orig.[?] marbled boards,” rebacked, no mention of cover label, some foxing, William Bateson’s copy with his pencil signature ($2500). Pepper & Stem, Sept. cat. S2, #18, 1808 “small folio” (i.e., quarto?), modern three-quarter morocco, “excellent copy” ($2750). SL, 14 Nov., #99, “1813” quarto, “original cloth” (hence the 1870 issue?), soiled and worn, with 3 other vols. (Scott, £526). CNY, 5 Dec., #166, 1808 quarto, half calf, covers detached, some foxing and staining ($605 in spite of the condition). See also the last entry under Young, Night Thoughts, uncolored, below.begin page 151 |
Bryant, New System, 1775-76. David Bickersteth, Nov. cat. 117, #21, apparently 1st ed., 3 vols., contemporary calf, slight wear (£385). BBA, 19 Dec., #1, 2nd ed. of vols. 1-2, contemporary calf, worn (Bookworks, £242).
Cumberland, Thoughts on Outline, 1796. R. C. Hatchwell, July private offer, uncut in original limp boards, back worn and edges rubbed, some foxing (£500).
Darwin, Botanic Garden. BBA, 13 Dec. 1990, #492, 1st ed. of Part 1, 3rd of Part 2, 2 vols. in 1, some spotting and water staining, modern cloth (not sold). Swann, 13 Dec. 1990, #90, 1st eds. of both Parts, lacking 4 unidentified pls., foxed ($132). Beeleigh Abbey Books, Jan. cat. 46, #209, 3rd ed. of Part 1, 4th of Part 2, 2 vols. in 1, slight foxing and offsetting, contemporary calf (£190—rather cheap for the only ed. of Part 1 with Blake’s pl. of “Tornado” after Fuseli); same copy and price, Dec. cat. 49, #141. Claude Cox, May cat. 84, #46, 1st ed. of Part 1, 2nd of Part 2, some pls. folded, modern quarter morocco (£200). Walford, May cat. A/338, #159, 1st. ed. of Part 1, 3rd of Part 2 (£450); same copy and price, Sept. cat. H/165, #240, Dec. cat. H/166, #233. BBA, 3 Sept., #30, 1st ed. of Part 1, 4th of Part 2, foxed and soiled, modern boards (Ginnan, £49). Swann, 14 Nov., #172, 1st ed. of Part 1, 3rd of Part 2, 2 vols. in 1, half russia, worn, some pls. foxed ($495). W. & V. Dailey, Dec. Blake list, #24, 1st ed. of Part 1, 2nd of Part 2, 2 vols. in 1, contemporary half calf ($400). Walford, Dec. cat. H/166, #234, 3rd ed. of Part 1 (£500). BBA, 19 Dec., #2, 1st ed. of Part 1, 2nd of Part 2, 1 vol., some leaves and 1 pl. repaired, some worming, modern morocco-backed boards (Bickersteth, £154).
Darwin, Poetical Works, 1806. W. & V. Dailey, Dec. Blake list, #23, 3 vols., half morocco rubbed ($800).
Enfield, The Speaker, 1785. BBA, 13 June, #154, with Enfield, Exercises in Elocution, 1780, uniformly bound in contemporary calf (Heath, £88).
Flaxman, Classical Compositions, 1870. BBA, 19 Dec., #5, water stained, foxed, half morocco, stained and rubbed (Thorp, £33).
Flaxman, Hesiod illustrations, 1817. Swann, 28 Feb., #125, bound in contemporary morocco with the Iliad (1805), Odyssey (1805), and Aeschylus (1831) illustrations, scattered light foxing (unsold on an estimate of $600-900). BBA, 19 Dec., #4, foxed, original boards rebacked with label on upper
Flaxman, Iliad illustrations, 1805. BBA, 21 March, #259, with the Odyssey illustrations, 1805, both in original boards, broken and loose, with another set of the same (Nicolas, £88). SL, 31 July, #599, bound with the Odyssey illustrations, 1805, some foxing and a few stains (Yamanaka, £220). BBA, 19 Dec., #3, spotted, contemporary half morocco rebacked, rubbed (Thorp, £82).
Fuseli, Lectures on Painting, 1801. Eric Korn, private offer, Feb. San Francisco Book Fair, prize binding, rebacked ($450).
Gay, Fables. Kenneth Karmiole, Jan. cat., #34, 2 vols., apparently 1st ed. of 1793, pls. with tissue guards, green calf ($600). Jeffrey Stern, Feb. cat. 9, #222, 1st ed. of 1793, 2 vols. in 1, fancy “Kalthoeber” binding (£375). John Windle, April cat. 7, #13, 2nd ed. of c. 1811, 2 vols., mottled calf, joints repaired ($375); same copy and price, May cat. 8, #26. In Our Time, June cat. 261, 1st ed., 2 vols., quarter calf ($750). Hartfield Books, June cat. 41, #L-35, 1st ed., 2 vols., “thick-paper edition[?],” fancy binding ($1295). Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #24, 1st ed., some pls. foxed, contemporary calf, pl. 1 illus. (£360). David Waxman, Sept. cat. 4, #31, 1st ed. of 1793, 2 vols., later calf, rubbed ($850). John Windle, Oct. cat. 1, #42, 1st ed., 2 vols., contemporary tree calf, “occasional spotting and stains” ($650); #43, 2nd ed., 2 vols., old mottled calf, “occasional spotting and stains” ($375). CL, 16 Dec., #196, 1st ed., “large paper copy,” 2 vols., contemporary morocco, bookplate of Thomas Hutton (Woods, £462).
Hartley, Observations on Man, 1791. Howes, May cat. 250, #166A, quarto issue, contemporary calf rebacked, margin of Blake’s pl. repaired (£380).
Hayley, Ballads, 1805. Simon Finch, Nov. cat. 7, #9, uncut in original boards, printed spine label, some very light spotting (£1200—probably a record asking price). Finch’s catalogue does begin page 152-153 |
Hayley, Life of Cowper. BBA, 14 Feb., #265, 2nd ed., 1803-04, 3 vols., some spotting, contemporary half calf, with “c. 250” miscellaneous vols. (Hilton, —198). Grant & Shaw, April cat. 6, #58, 1st ed., 1803-04, 3 vols. with the supplementary 4th vol. of 1806, contemporary half russia (£225). SL, 17 April, #318, apparently 1st ed., 3 vols., calf rubbed (Besleys Books, £143). Quaritch, Oct. cat. 1150, 1st ed., 1803-04, 3 vols. with the supplementary 4th vol. of 1806, half calf over marbled boards, pl. 4 in the 2nd st., pl. 5 illus. (£800). Robert Clark, Dec. cat. 26, #279, 1st ed., 1803-04, with the 1806 supplement bound in vol. 3, contemporary tree calf, rubbed, ex-library copy, a “serviceable set” (£140).
Hayley, Life of Romney, 1809. BBA, 19 Dec., #6, a “fine clean copy in contemporary mottled calf” (Thorp, £352 on an estimate of £150-200).
Hayley, Triumphs of Temper, 1803. John Windle, Jan. list 3, #14, small paper issue (£550). Sanders, Feb. cat. 116, #51, apparently small paper issue, lacking half-title, contemporary calf, hinges repaired with cloth (£250). Heritage Book Shop, Feb. private offer, small paper issue, pls. showing considerable wear, quarter morocco ($600). BBA, 21 March, #128, apparently small paper issue, contemporary calf rebacked (Kom, £198). Chapel Hill Rare Books, July cat. 60, #83, apparently small paper issue, contemporary morocco, spine rubbed, William Bateson’s copy but lacking any mark of ownership ($400). John Windle, Oct. cat. 1, #46, small paper issue, lacking the half title, old calf ($675). Ursus Rare Books, Nov. cat. 156, #17, large paper issue, lacking the half-title, contemporary begin page 154 | calf, pl. 5 illus. ($2250!). W. & V. Dailey, Dec. Blake list, #25, apparently small paper, half red morocco ($650).
Hogarth, Works. Walford, Jan. cat. A/337, #147, 1822 issue (£2200). Swann, Feb. 28, #169, one of the undated Baldwin and Cradock issues, 111 pls. only, worn, “plates very good” ($1045). BBA, 25 April, #108, undated Baldwin and Cradock issue, 153 pls. on 116 leaves, contemporary half morocco, rubbed (York Gallery, £990 on an estimate of £400-600); #109, undated Baldwin and Cradock issue, contemporary half morocco, covers detached (Palgrave, £660). John Shotton, spring cat., #7, undated Baldwin and Cradock issue, half morocco, worn (£1400). Swann, 5 Nov., #148, undated Baldwin and Cradock issue, disbound, letterpress damaged, some light foxing on pls. ($1430). BBA, 7 Nov., #36, undated Baldwin and Cradock issue, some leaves torn, contemporary half morocco very worn, covers detached (Talanti, £715). CL, 16 Dec., #255, 1822 ed., contemporary morocco (Bifolco, £990). Note: None of the cat. entries listed here mentions the presence or absence of Blake’s pl.
Hunter, Historical Journal, 1793, quarto issue. BBA, 21 March, #365, lacking one pl. (perhaps Blake’s?), foxed and water stained, half calf worn (Arnold, £220—not bad for a rum copy). CL, 1 May, #52, tears in a few pls., some spotting, later half morocco, rubbed (Mitchell, £1100); #119, frontispiece partly detached, no description of binding given (Quaritch, £2530). E. M. Lawson, May cat. 250, #59, title page shaved (as usual), contemporary half calf rebacked (£2200). Charles Traylen, June cat. 109, #86, half morocco (£3300). SL, 30 July, #549, some spotting, early nineteenth-century calf (Traylen, £2090 on an estimate of £1000-1200). CNY, 8 Oct., #134, engraved title page cropped, pls. browned, old worn calf, covers detached ($1980).
Josephus, Works. Howes, May cat. 250, #125, Bentley’s first issue, half calf
Lavater, Aphorisms on Man. Robert Clark, Feb. cat. 23, #126, 1789 ed., bound with La Rochefoucauld, Maximes, 1791 (£160). James Burmester, April cat. 13, #226, 1788 ed., bound with J. Sturch, View of the Isle of Wight, 1791, contemporary calf (£175). R. C. Hatchwell, July private offer, 1788 ed., contemporary tree calf, joints cracked and corners rubbed (£220). BBA, 28 Nov., #301, 1788 ed., some spotting, later calf (not sold on an estimate of £80-120).
Lavater, Essays on Physiognomy. SL, 5 Nov. 1990, #752, apparently a mixed set, 1789-1810, 3 vols. in 5, uncut, spotted, rubbed, some covers detached (not sold on an estimate of £400-500). Glaser Rare Books, March cat. 93, #75, 1789-98 ed., 3 vols. in 5, contemporary calf rebacked, two joints weak, internally fine with most tissue guards ($2400). David Morrison Books, April Los Angeles Book Fair, 1789-98 ed., 3 vols. in 5, half green morocco, some spotting ($1250); same copy, W. & V. Dailey, Dec. Blake list, #26 ($2000). Mellor & Baxter, June cat., #96, 1789-98 ed., 3 vols. in 5, fine contemporary diced russia (£1200); same copy and price, autumn cat., #131. Sloan & Vinson, Dec. cat. 9, #87, 1810 ed., 3 vols. in 5, contemporary red morocco, some foxing and slight wear ($950). See also “Hiding of Moses” in Separate Plates, above.
Malkin, A Father’s Memoirs of his Child, 1806. BBA, 11 April, #327, bound with Malkin, Almahide and Hamet, 1804, some foxing, contemporary calf, worn with upper cover detached (Axe, £110). James Burmester, July cat. 14, #20, with half-title, contemporary calf rebacked (£250). Quaritch, Oct. cat. 1150, #14, with a presentation inscription from Malkin to “Dr. Pett” and an inscription by William Michael Rossetti recording the gift of the vol. from Thomas Dixon, blue morocco rebacked (£680). Simon Finch, Nov. cat. 7, #10, half calf (£375).
Nicholson, Introduction to Natural Philosophy, 1782. BBA, 11 July, #320, 2 vols., contemporary calf (P. & P. Books, £308).
Novelist’s Magazine. Heritage Book Shop, Feb. private offer, vol. 8 (Don Quixote) only, both title pages dated 1792, pls. in 2nd sts. ($350); same begin page 155 | copy, John Windle, Oct. cat. 1, #41 ($475).
Rees, The Cyclopaedia, 1819-20. BBA, 14 Feb., #88, 39 text vols. plus 6 pl. vols., worn, some covers detached and backstrips lacking (Shapero, £220 on an estimate of £300-400). Phillips auction, London, 18 July, #176, complete in 45 vols., spotting and dampstaining, half calf worn (estimate £200-400). Simon Finch, Nov. cat. 7, #99, 39 text vols. plus 6 pl. vols., fancy contemporary binding (£4000).
Ritson, Select Collection of English Songs, 1783. Phillips Auction, London, 24 Oct., #442, 3 vols., browned, contemporary calf rebacked (estimate £150-200).
Salzmann, Elements of Morality, Juvenile Library ed., c. 1815. BBA, 19 Dec., #7, lacking pl. inscribed 20 (but with a duplicate of the pl. inscribed 30 bound in its place), some tears, morocco-backed boards, slight wear (£264 to Quaritch for R. Essick).
Scott, Poetical Works, 1782. The Book-press, April cat. 56, #392, contemporary calf ($375).
Shakespeare, Dramatic Works, 1802. BBA, 14 Feb., 9 vols., contemporary russia, some internal spotting, some covers detached (The Bookroom, £330). David Bickersteth, Aug. cat. 116, #171, 9 vols., 99 pls., no mention of Blake’s, “original straight-grained red morocco richly gilt,” some wear (£850). D. & E. Lake, Oct. cat. 149, #170, 9 vols., 95 pls. only, no mention of Blake’s, blue morocco, some foxing ($4500).
Shakespeare, The Plays, 1805. Robert Clark, Oct. cat. 25, #231, 10 vols., contemporary calf, worn, one backstrip missing, some spotting of pls., “good working or rebinding set” (cheap at £110). John Windle, Oct. cat. 1, #48, 10 vols., slight water stains in final 3 vols., full margins, diced calf (bit pricey at $2750).
Stedman, Narrative, hand colored. Rulon-Miller Books, Aug. cat. 98, #106, 1813 ed., 2 vols., the pls. with “contemporary” hand coloring, modern three-quarter morocco worn ($2000). Heritage Book Shop, Sept. private offer, 1796 ed., pls. with contemporary hand coloring, including touches of gold but none of the silver found in some copies, royal quarto, contemporary calf rebacked (acquired by R. Essick through the agency of John Windle). See illus. 11.
Stedman, Narrative, uncolored. Swann, 13 Dec. 1990, #252, 1813 ed., 2 vols., marginal dampstaining, modern morocco ($1540). Eric Kline, private offer, Feb. San Francisco Book Fair, 1796 ed., 2 vols., contemporary calf rebacked ($950). E. C. Mattson, April Los Angeles Book Fair, 1796 ed., 2 vols., original calf rebacked, many pls. foxed ($1150). SL, 15 Nov., #846, 1796 ed., 2 vols., “many defects,” with 6 other vols. (Hay Cinema, £198). BBA, 19 Dec., #8, 1796 ed., 2 vols., foxed, contemporary calf rebacked, rubbed, pl. of the Aboma snake illus. (Ginnan, £2200—a remarkably high price—on an estimate of £1000-1500).
Stuart and Revett, The Antiquities of Athens, 1762-1816. Sotheran, April cat. 1017, #79, 5 vols., including the supplement of 1830 (£8700). CL, 7 June, #116, vols. 1-3 only, 1762-1794, some unspecified pls. missing, some spotting, worn (no price list received; estimate £300-500). CNY, 5 Dec., #339, 4 vols., 1762-1816, half morocco ($5280). See also “The Fall of Rosamond” under Separate Plates, above.
Tuer, Andrew W., The Follies & Fashions of Our Grandfathers (London: Field & Tuer, 1886-7), with an impression in brick red of the portrait of Thomas Alphonso Hayley engraved by Blake and first published in William Hayley, An Essay on Sculpture, 1800, pl. 3. John Windle, May cat. 8, #53, quarto issue, original quarter felt over boards ($300). An essay by Jenijoy La Belle on this newly-discovered reprinting of one of Blake’s commercial book illustrations appears in Blake 25 (1991-92): 136-38.
Young, Night Thoughts, 1797, uncolored. CL, 26 June, #248, 12 pls. shaved, no mention of the “Explanation” leaf in the cat. description, some offsetting, contemporary half calf, title page to Night the First illus. (Joseph, £3520). Simon Finch, Nov. cat. 7, #11, the “Explanation” leaf loosely inserted at the end, trimmed, but “a remarkably large copy,” with an impression of William Bell Scott’s etching of Blake (based on the Phillips portrait) inserted, H. Buxton Forman’s copy with his engraved label, half calf (£4500). CNY, 5 Dec., #167, without the “Explanation” leaf, a few stains, half morocco, p. 19 illus., bound with Blair, The Grave, 1813 folio issue, some foxing ($4950 on an estimate of $2000-2500).
J. T. Smith, Remarks on Rural Scenery, 1797. Simon Finch, April cat. 6, #240, contemporary morocco, pls. washed, engraved title page illus. (£750). Charles Wood, April cat. 75, #177, original boards uncut, title page illus. ($800); #178, half calf ($550). As both dealers indicate, the list of subscribers includes “William Blake Esq.” Smith met Blake in 1784, but the chance that the subscriber is our Blake is lessened considerably by Smith’s practice of placing the word “Engraver” after all others named in his list who followed that profession.
Salzmann, Gymnastics for Youth, 1800. Jeffrey Stern, Feb. cat. 9, #150, contemporary calf rebacked (£1200). I no longer believe that the 10 pls. in this work were engraved by Blake—see Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations (1991) 124-25.
An engraved portrait of William Cowper based on T. Lawrence’s drawing. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #18, described as a proof before letters of Blake’s plate published in Hayley’s Life of Cowper, 1803-04, illus. (£375, purchased by the Tate Gallery). The print is in fact the 1st st. of Francesco Bartolozzi’s pl. of the same portrait. Exhibited at the Tate Gallery, 10 July - 3 Nov. 1991, and misattributed to Blake in the handlist of the exhibition, William Blake and His Followers, p. 12. begin page 156 |
William Hayley, letter to John Johnson, 27 Nov. 1803. SL, 18 July, #205, with a reference to an engraving in Hayley’s Life of Cowper (see the Appendix below), 3 pp. (Quaritch, £550 on an estimate of £600-700). Quaritch, Oct. cat. 1150, #68 (£1200). According to the auction cat., the passing mention of “our good Lady H” refers to Emma Hamilton, but surely Quaritch’s catalogue is right in identifying the woman as Lady Hesketh, Cowper’s eversolicitous cousin who was much involved with Hayley’s composition and publication of the Life of Cowper.
Skeletons Abducting a Woman. Pencil, pen, gray wash drawing, 24.8 × 35 cm., inscribed “W. Blake. 1804.” CL, 9 July, #10 (£88 on an estimate of £200-300). Sold as “English School, circa 1780,” but Martin Butlin has suggested in correspondence that the drawing is by the Danish artist Nikolai Abildgaard (1744-1809).
Thomas Dick, On the Improvement of Society by the Diffusion of Knowledge: or, An Illustration of the Advantages which would Result from a More General Dissemination of Rational and Scientific Information among All Ranks (Edinburgh: Waugh and Innes; W. Curry, Jun. & Co. Dublin; and Whittaker & Co. London, 1833). Stuart Bennett, Oct. cat., #21, contemporary half calf ($85). A previously unrecorded early critique of Blake’s work in Varley’s Zodiacal Physiognomy, offered as part of a general attack on astrology (pp. 497, 521-22).
Frederic Shields, drawing for the dust jacket and cover of Gilchrist, Life of Blake, 1880. Acquired summer 1991 by the dealer Christopher Powney from David Bindman; sold August by Powney to R. Essick. See illus. 12.
Anne Gilchrist and her son, Herbert. 38 letters to, some concerning Gilchrist’s Life of Blake, from John Linnell Sen., begin page 157 | William Linnell, George Richmond, William Bell Scott, Linley Sambourne, Ford Madox Brown, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John Tenniel, Edwin Abbey, Christina Rossetti, and others, 73 leaves, 1863-1905. The Book Press, Jan. cat. 54, #33 ($850 to R. Essick). A brief note about two of the letters by William Linnell and what they tell us about the printing of Blake’s Virgil wood engravings in Gilchrist’s Life of Blake appears in The Book Collector 40 (1991): 579-81.
William Muir, facsimile of Blake’s Europe, no. 7 of 50 copies, hand colored, bound in multi-colored calf with decorations based on Blake’s frontispiece, probably executed by an amateur. Robert Clark, Feb. cat. 23, #184 (£380). Item #185 is Muir’s facsimile of America, no. 31 of 50, no information on coloring, similarly bound, the cover decorated with “snakes, birds & cavorting figures” (£380).
Keynes, A Bibliography of William Blake, 1921. SL, 6 June, #116, Edwin Wolf’s copy with his extensive annotations (Rinsen, £1650). Chapel Hill Rare Books, July cat. 60, #79, inscribed by Keynes to the dedicatee, William Bateson, and with a 4 pp. letter from W. A. Raleigh to Bateson about Blake ($3500; not sold, offered privately in Dec. for $2000).
Edwin Wolf, over 400 letters to, and 170 carbons of letters by, most concerning Blake. One hundred and thirty-six from Geoffrey Keynes, 7 from W. Graham Robertson, and others from F. B. Adams, G. E. Bentley, Jr., Martin Butlin, David Erdman, Robert Gleckner, George Goyder, Philip Hofer, Martin Nurmi, Morton Paley, Kerrison Preston, Albert Roe, Chauncey Tinker, Ruthven Todd, and Joseph Wicksteed, plus 3 typescripts by Goyder, Roe, and W. A. White, 3 by Wolf, and the manuscript of Wolf’s unpublished essay, “William Blake as an Artist.” Materials date from 1937 to 1988. SL, 6 June, #120 (Quaritch, £2420). Same collection, Jonathan Hill, Oct. cat. 60, #322, a Wolf typescript and an interestingly mean-spirited letter from Tinker illus. ($7500).begin page 158 |
BLAKE’S CIRCLE AND FOLLOWERS
Works are listed under artists’ names in the following order: untitled paintings and drawings sold in groups, single paintings and drawings, letters and manuscripts, separate plates, books by (or with plates by or after) the artist.
Ecce Homo (recto); Classical Figures (recto). Pen and ink, brown wash, 30.5 × 19.8 cm., signed and inscribed with the recto title. CL, 9 April, #6, illus. (£660).
“King Lear Weeping over the Body of Cordelia,” engraved by Legat for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #7, etched proof trimmed to the image, illus. (£160).
“Venus Anadyomene,” engraved by G. S. and J. G. Facius, 1778. Heim, May-June cat., #23, illus. (£350).
A Series of Etchings by James Barry, 1808. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #1-6, 6 pls. extracted, all illus. (£180 to £350).
Calvert, S., Memoir of Edward Calvert, 1893. Kenneth Karmiole, Jan. private offer, original cloth, foot of spine worn away, all pls. present (invitingly priced at $2000. A rebound copy sold at SL, 27 June 1988, for £3630).
See also Flaxman under Letterpress Books with Blake’s engravings, above.
A folio of 12 sheets of drawings, six with verso studies, one by another hand, for funeral monuments, portraits, a bird, figures and heads, pencil or pen and ink, with a drawing of figure studies on blue paper and 3 drawings “attributed to the artist.” SL, 11 April, #7, the folio drawings dated to c. 1780, 4 drawings illus., including one inscribed
Charity. CL, 9 July, #16, illus. (£1210 to the dealer Christopher Powney on an estimate of £500-700). See illus. 13.
Designs for Chess Pieces. Pen and brown ink, brown wash, 11 × 19 cm., with 3 other drawings attributed to Flaxman or Stothard, illus. (not sold on an estimate of £400-600).
Flaxman, portrait of, by John Jackson. Oil, 76 × 63.5 cm. CL, 1 March, #23, illus. (not sold on an estimate of £3000-5000).
Midsummer Night’s Dream, an illustration to. Wash, with touches of blue and pink by another hand (now almost completely removed by cleaning). Acquired fall 1991 by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, with a companion drawing by Henry Howard also illustrating Shakespeare’s play.
“Summer” and “Autumn,” lithographs after Flaxman, round, 37.5 cm. diameter. CL, 18 Sept., #104 (£132).
Aeschylus illustrations, 1831. Ars Libri, August cat. 85, #1724, light wear ($375). Swann, 5 Sept., #112, worn and foxed ($66).
Dante illustrations, 1807. Ars Libri, August cat. 85, #1723, worn ($475). Swann, 5 Sept., #111, worn and foxed ($99). BBA, 19 Dec., #54, foxed, contemporary half vellum, rubbed and soiled (not sold on an estimate of £80-120).
Flaxman, Anatomical Studies, 1833. Robert Clark, May cat. 24, #222, a late reissue of c. 1879 (according to the dealer), original late nineteenth-century red cloth, worn (£200). Marlborough Rare Books, Sept. cat. 42, #143, original green cloth rebacked (£320).
Flaxman, Lectures on Sculpture. The Chaucer Head, June cat. 13, #562, 1829 ed., half morocco (£120). Dawson Book Service, Oct. cat. 35, #163, 1838 ed., contemporary calf (£140). Note: The 2nd ed. is often priced higher than the 1st because the illustrations in the 1838 begin page 159 | vol. were the first impressions of 1829, mistakenly printed on leaves too small for use in the 1st ed.
Homer, Iliad illustrations, published Dufresne, 1803. Weissert, Jan. cat. 47, #56, with a copy of the Dufresne ed. of the Odyssey illustrations (DM850).
Homer, Iliad and Odyssey illustrations. Weissert, Jan. cat. 47, #60, engraved by Riepenhausen, 1817 (DM800). Grant & Shaw, Aug. cat. 8, #79, 1833 ed. of the W. Sotheby trans., 73 pls. by H. Moses, 4 vols., contemporary calf worn (£285).
Homer, Iliads, ed. Taylor, 1843. Ken Spelman, Feb. cat. 18, #458, 2 vols., 40 wood engravings after Flaxman, original cloth (£25).
Homer, Odyssey illustrations, engraved Schnorr, 1839. Nolting, Jan. cat. 51, #41, pls. loose in slipcase (DM150).
L’Oeuvre de Flaxman, engraved Réveil. Weissert, Jan. cat. 47, #61, issue of 1844-55? (DM600). Swann, 5 Sept., #113, 5 vols. only, 1833-44, modern cloth, original wrappers bound in ($77).
Flaxman’s copy, with his signature, of Ruins of Athens, pub. Sayer, 1759. CNY, 5 Dec., #320 ($1650).
Eve, after the Sentence and Departure of the Judge, Despairing, Supported by Adam. Oil, 152.5 × 72.5 cm., exhibited in Fuseli’s Milton Gallery, 1799-1800, no. XXI. CL, 12 July, #45, from the collection of Dian and Andrea Woodner, illus. color (not sold on an estimate of £70,000-100,000).
King David Being Warned by the Prophet Nathan. CL, 2 July, #192, from the collection of Ian Woodner, illus. (£30,800 on an estimate of £12,000-18,000). See illus. 14.
Kriemhild and the Dead Siegfried. Black chalk with India ink wash, 38.5 × 50.5 cm. Heim, May-June cat., #140, illus. (£79,000—a very optimistic asking price).
An Old Prophet Preaching. Pencil, gray and pale green wash, 16 × 13 cm. CL, 9 July, #60, with seven other drawings by J. R. Schellenberg, S. Granicher, and others, from the collection of J. C. Lavater, illus. color (£3300 on an estimate of £3000-5000). In my opinion, the attribution to Fuseli is very doubtful. This is probably a work by one of the other artists represented in this group of 8 works related to Lavater’s physiognomic studies.
Orestes, Following the Murder of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. Black and white chalk, 37 × 45.7 cm. Heim, May-June cat., #137, illus. (£79,000—another optimistic asking price).
The Power of Fancy in Dreams, an illustration for Erasmus Darwin’s Temple of Nature (engraved by Moses Haughton for the 1803 ed.). Gray, blue, and pink washes heightened with white and touches of red ink, 36.5 × 26 cm. SL, 11 July, #177, illus. color (not sold on a brave estimate of £40,000-60,000).
Sapphic Love. Pencil, pen and brown ink, 17.2 × 12.4 cm. CL, 12 Nov., #74, illus. color (not sold on an estimate of £15,000- 25,000).
The Spirit of Knowledge. Leger Galleries, London, June private offer (price on application). Previously sold CL, 13 Nov. 1990, #93 (£4400). See illus. 15.
The Three Witches Appearing to Macbeth and Banquo. Oil, 87 × 112 cm., from the collection of the late Professor Richard G. Carrott. CL, 12 April, #38, illus. color (£71,500 on an estimate of £70,000-100,000).
Fuseli, a miniature portrait of, by Moses Haughton. Sold by a descendant of George Heath to Elizabeth Bentley; given by her to G. E. Bentley, Jr., July 1991. A very similar version is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Letter to the publisher Cadell, recommending “A Young Engraver of Very great Promise,” Alfred Freebairn, 1824. SL, 13 Dec. 1990, #454, with 18 other letters by various English artists (not sold; estimate £500-600).
“Hamlet” and “King Lear,” engravings by Thew and Earlom for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery. BBA, 7 Nov., #69, with 6 undescribed pls. also from the Boydell series, some short tears and dust staining (Finbar Macdonnell, £121).
Bell’s British Theatre. Blackwell’s, Jan. cat. A99, #11, 22 vols., 1791-95 (£950). BBA, 9 May, #280, 22 vols., “1790s” (and hence with the Fuseli pls.?), cloth (Ball, £55). Hartfield Books, June cat. 41, #L-4, 28 vols., 1791-97, “large paper” copy with published proofs of the pls., tree calf worn ($985).
Bible, published Macklin, 1800. Blackwell’s, May cat. 12, #713, 6 vols., contemporary full blue morocco gilt extra (£1400); same set, James Cummins, May cat. 31, #14 ($4000).
Bonnycastle, Introduction to Astronomy. Blackwell’s, Jan. cat. A99, #221, 1786 ed. (£250). Bow Windows Book Shop, May cat. 131, #117, 1803 ed., rebacked (£125). BBA, 3 Sept., #192, 1786 ed., contemporary calf (Bowers, £165). David Bickersteth, Nov. cat. 117, #207, 3rd ed., 1796, contemporary calf (£110).
Boydell, The American Edition of Boydell’s Illustrations of . . . Shakespeare, 1852. Swann, 19 Nov., #166, 2 vols., half sheep very worn, some dampstaining, “visual inspection recommended” ($1320 in spite of the warning signals in the cat. description and an estimate of $400-600).
Boydell, Collection of Prints . . . Illustrating . . . The Dramatic Works of Shakspeare, 1803. Heim, May-June cat., individual pls., all illus.: #76, “Tempest, Act I, Scene II”; #77, “Macbeth, Act I, Scene III”; #78, “Henry the Fourth, Part Two, Act II, Scene IV”; #79, “Henry the Fifth, Act II, Scene II”; #80, “King Lear, Act I, Scene I”; “Hamlet, Act I, Scene IV” (£500 each).
Cowper, Poems. Blackwell’s, May cat. A102, #44, 1811 ed., large paper, lacking 1 pl. (£450). Deighton Bell, Aug. cat. 256, #193, 1806 ed. (£200). BBA, 19 Dec., #53, 1806 ed., contemporary calf, rubbed (L. Kerr, £88).begin page 160 |
Homer, Iliad, 1810. Hamburger Antiquariat, Dec. 1990 cat. 209, #41, with the Odyssey, 1810 (lacking 1 pl. after Fuseli), 4 vols. in all, pls. before inscribed verses (DM600).
Pope, Rape of the Lock, 1798. Robert Clark, Feb. cat. 23, #124, some foxing (£20). Ken Spelman, Dec. cat. 22, #116, some foxing, fine morocco binding by Anyon & Hollings c. 1815 (£200, a price determined by the binding).
A Series of Engravings [by Bartolozzi and Heath] . . . to Illustrate the Works of . . . Shakespeare and Milton, 1818. Swann, 10 Jan., #289, scattered foxing, worn ($385).
Shakespeare, The Plays and Poems, ed. Valpy. Ken Spelman, Feb. cat. 18, #425, 1832 ed., 15 vols., original cloth (£80). SL, 19 Feb., #864, 1842 ed., 15 vols., half morocco (Chelsea, £330). Frew Mackenzie, Nov. cat. 25, #424, 1848 ed., 15 vols., half morocco (£400). Ursus Rare Books, Nov. cat. 156, #405, 1832 ed., full calf ($5000; compare to Spelman’s price above for the same work in what is to my mind a more desirable binding).
Winckelmann, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks, 1765. Stuart Bennett, March cat. 17, #185, lacking half-title, original boards rebacked ($375). Sevin Seydi, July cat. “Aurora,” #310, contemporary calf (£600).
Works of the British Poets, ed. Park, 1805-08. Stuart Bennett, March cat. 17, #129, 42 vols., with the supplement of 1809 in 6 vols., contemporary half morocco ($1500).
Young, Catalogue of the . . . Collection of . . . J. J. Angerstein, 1823. The Bookpress, Feb. cat. 55, #159, “publisher’s half-calf” ($450). Bow Windows Book Shop, May cat. 131, #242, worn (£170).
43 landscape drawings by Linnell and members of his family, some dated 1807-26, mostly pencil, some with washes or colored chalks, various sizes, with 20 drawings by John Bell. SL, 11 July, #117 (not sold on an estimate of £600-800).
18 water colors (all but one a landscape), 1 crayon drawing, and 1 oil sketch by members of the Linnell family, some (perhaps all?) from the collection of Mrs. Edith Bell, John Linnell’s granddaughter. Martyn Gregory, Oct. cat. 58, #71-90, 14 illus. The works by John Linnell are as follows: #71, Derbyshire Landscape, water color, 7 × 10 in., signed and dated 1814, illus. (£2800); #72, Entrance of the River Lea into the Thames at Blackwall, water color, 16¾ × 22¾ in., signed (£1650); #73, Sunset: Return from the Harvest, water color, 10¾ × 14¼ in., signed and dated 1863, illus. (£3800); #74, Cloud Study, oil, 7½ × 8¼ in., signed and dated 1845, illus. (£2200); #75, Cloud Study, crayons, 7½ × 9½ in. (£650); #76, Study of Hills and Clouds, North Wales, water color, 11 × 18½ in., signed, illus. (£3300).
Landscape with David and the Lion. Oil, 139 × 216.9 cm., signed and dated 1850. CL, 1 March, #86, illus. color (not sold on an estimate of £5000-7000).
The Storm. Oil, 17 × 21.5 cm., signed on reverse, slight damage. SL, 10 April, #192, illus. (£990 on an estimate of £2000-3000).
MORTIMER, JOHN HAMILTON
Beaching a Fishing Boat in a Gale. Pen and black ink, 20 × 28 cm. SL, 11 July, #70, from the collection of Colin Hunter, illus. (£4400). Apparently the basis for Robert Blyth’s etching after Mortimer of 1783.
Study for the Presentation of the Magna Carta to King John. Pen and brown ink, gray washes, 20.5 × 26 cm. Sotheby’s Sussex, 20 May, #346 (no price information, but apparently not sold on an estimate of £600-800). The same work, SL, 14 Nov., #89 (not sold on an estimate of £400-600).
Etchings Dedicated to Sir Joshua[e] Reynolds, set of title and 15 pls., 1778. SNY, 9 May, #81, bound with “Revengeful Monsters” (1780), slight foxing, half morocco ($1320).
“The Battle of Agincourt,” engraved by T. Burke, 1783. Heim, May-June cat., #31, illus. (£550).
“Cassandra,” etching. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #97, 1816 Palser printing, illus. (£115).
“Sleeping Monsters,” etching. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #99, 1780 printing, illus. (£145).
A Cascade in Shadow. Water color, 46.4 × 37.5 cm., 1835-36. Promised 1991 by Malcolm Wiener to the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
The Bay of Naples. Water color heightened with gold, 19.7 × 42 cm., signed. CL, 9 July, #120, illus. color (£7150 on an estimate of £6000-8000).
Cypresses at the Villa d’Este, Tivoli. Water color, 51 × 71 cm. SL, 14 Nov., #163, illus. color (£22,000 on an estimate of £20,000-30,000).
Landscape with a Farm Cart Following Sheep and Cattle. Water color, 7 × 16.5 cm., inscribed on back “E. Enfield/ 19 Chester Terrace/ by Palmer.” Agnew’s, 118th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Feb., #25, illus. (£17,500).
Near Underriver, Sevenoaks, Kent. Black chalk and water color, 26.7 × 37.5 cm. Agnew’s, 118th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Feb., #65, illus. color (no price listed). Previously sold SL, 16 Nov. 1989, #95, (£70,400 on an estimate of £18,000-24,000).
Old England’s Sunday Evening. SL, 14 Nov., #126, illus. color (£110,000—an auction record for a late Palmer). See illus. 16.
Sheep in the Shade. Pencil and water color with touches of white, 37.5 × 53 cm., signed. CL, 12 Nov., #138, illus. color (£12,650).
The Villa d’Este from the Cypress Avenue, an illustration to Dickens’ Pictures begin page 161 |
Autograph receipt signed, “Received of Mrs. Jukes for this morning’s lessons, £6.6.0. Samuel Palmer,” 26 April 1850. Michael Silverman, July cat. 1, #29 (£275).
“Bellman,” etching. SL, 12 Dec., #205, 7th st., 1926 printing (£990).
“Christmas,” etching. Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #102, 3rd st., “brilliant early proof impression,” pencil signature, illus. (£4200). SL, 12 Dec., #206, 3rd st., “superb impression” printed by A. H. Palmer and with his pencil notes in the margins, illus. (£3080).
“Early Ploughman,” etching. Swann, 6 Dec. 1990, #233, 8th st. ($303). Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 2, #104, 5th st., trimmed on the platemark, illus. (£325). SL, 12 Dec., #196, 8th st., with “The Willow,” 3rd st., both the 1926 printing (not sold); #203, “Early Ploughman” only, 5th st. (not sold).
“Herdsman’s Cottage,” etching. Weston Gallery, July cat. 5, #47, 2nd st. from Hamerton’s Etching and Etchers, illus. ($800). SL, 12 Dec., #198, 3rd st., “a very good impression” (not sold).
“Morning of Life,” etching. SL, 12 Dec., #204, 7th st., laid India (not sold).
“Opening the Fold,” etching. Weston Gallery, July cat. 5, #48, 7th st. from the small paper issue of Palmer’s English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil, illus. ($840). SL, 12 Dec., #202, 6th st., inscribed by Frank Short and dated 29 Nov. 1930, and another impression of the same, 8th st. (not sold).
“Rising Moon,” etching. Print Connections, winter 1990-91 cat. 7, #11, 7th st. (£420). SL, 12 Dec., #200, 7th st., “a very good impression” (not sold); #201, 7th st., laid India, minor foxing and ink-staining (not sold).
“Skylark,” etching. Print Connections, winter 1990-91 cat. 7, #9, 7th st. (£360). Weston Gallery, March cat. 2, #17, 7th st., “extremely fine sparkling impression” on laid India, full margins, illus. ($1940). Garton & Co., Oct. cat. 53, #2, 7th st., “fine impression” on laid India, reduced margins, illus. (£1250).
“Sleeping Shepherd,” etching. Print Connections, winter 1990-91 cat. 7, #10, 4th st. (£430). SL, 12 Dec., #197, 4th st., with “The Skylark,” 7th st., both on laid India (not sold).
“Vine, or Plumpy Bacchus,” etching. SL, 12 Dec. #199, 4th st., with A. H. Palmer, Life and Letters of Samuel Palmer, Palmer, The Eclogues of Virgil, and a mezzotint by John Martin (not sold).
“Weary Ploughman,” etching. Weston Gallery, March cat. 2, #18, 8th st., “very fine strong impression” on laid India, illus. ($1260). Garton European Prints, Nov. cat. 4, #2, touched proof between 4th and 5th sts., with (slight?) water color and chalk additions and scraping-out, illus. (£7500).
Adams, Sacred Allegories, 1859. Sanders, Feb. cat. 116, #296, original cloth (£65).
Dickens, Pictures from Italy, 1846. George’s, April cat. 715, #68 (£300). The 19th Century Shop, April cat. 20, #63, original cloth ($950). The 19th Century Shop prides itself on asking higher prices than anyone else.
Hamerton, Etching & Etchers. Kenneth Karmiole, Sept. cat. 194, #47, 1868 ed. (with Palmer’s “Early Ploughman”) modern half morocco ($1000). Swann, 5 Sept., #136, 1880 ed. (with Palmer’s “Herdsman’s Cottage”), quarter morocco very worn ($357).
Hamerton, Examples of Modern Etching, 1876 (with Palmer’s “Herdsman’s Cottage”). Kenneth Karmiole, Sept. cat. 194, #48, original cloth worn ($750).
Keats, Poetical Works and Other Writings, ed. Forman, 1889. Deighton, Bell, Jan. cat. 255, #128, 5 vols. (including the supplement of 1890), half morocco, a reissue of the 1883 ed. (£700).
Milton, Shorter Poems, 1889. Blackwell’s, Jan. cat. A99, #196, large paper copy out-of-series (£450). SL, 17 April, #339, apparently the small paper issue, original cloth, with an unrelated vol. (Riex, £385). BBA, 9 May, #358, small paper, original cloth (Samuels, £82); begin page 162 | 19 Dec., #56, small paper, original cloth, little rubbed (Maggs, £88).
A. H. Palmer, Life and Letters of S. Palmer, 1892. Bow Windows Book Shop, Nov. cat. 133, #205, small paper, original cloth faded, some spots (£250).
S. Palmer, English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil, 1883. Print Connections, Jan. private offer, binding and paper size not indicated (£700). CNY, 17 May, #54, large paper, original vellum gilt, some foxing, half morocco folding box ($935). W. & V. Dailey, Dec. Blake list, #52, large paper, original full parchment, with bookplate of Manhattan College ($2000).
Songs and Ballads of Shakespeare, 1853 (with “The Vine,” etching, 4th st.). Campbell Fine Art, June cat. 3, #103, quarter leather, “The Vine” illus. (£750). Bow Windows Book Shop, Nov. cat. 133, #206, titled Songs of Shakespeare, with the title page misdated “1843” (as in small paper copies), rebound in blue calf (£650). Both these copies are described as having all text on Palmer’s pl. printed in terra cotta, as in large-paper copies, but with the sheets trimmed to the small-paper size.
Study for the Funeral of the Blessed Virgin. Oil sketch, 37 × 79 cm. SL, 11 July, #157, illus. (£3300). Previously offered SL, 15 Nov. 1990, #67, illus. color (not sold on an estimate of £6000-9000).
“The Shepherd,” engraving. Weston Gallery, March cat. 2, #19, 2nd st., a “brilliant crisp impression” on laid India, illus. ($14,550).
A sketchbook of 67 leaves, 20.7 × 16.5 cm., containing drawings (pen and brown ink, some washes), drafts of letters, accounts, and diary excerpts, apparently dating from the early 1770s. CL, 9 July, #27, 6 pages illus. color (not sold on a brave estimate of £15,000-25,000).
4 drawings of the fall of the rebel angels, pencil, various sizes. SL, 11 July, #119 (not sold on an estimate of £800-1200).
4 drawings for The Sisters Contemplating Mortality, pencil, two with pen and brown ink, approx. 15.5 × 20 cm. SL, 11 July, #120 (not sold on an estimate of £600-800).
A Crowd of Women and Children. Pen and brown ink, 13.6 × 17.2 cm. Angew’s, 118th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Feb., #1, illus. (£3500).
The Departure for Canaan: Jacob and Rachel with the Infant Joseph. Oil, 50 × 40 in. Heim, May-June cat., #17, illus. color (£75,000).
Study for Lady Hamilton. Pencil, 15.5 × 10 cm. SL, 11 July, #143, illus. (not sold on an estimate of £1200-1800).
Study of a Seated Lady beneath a Tree. Pen, brown ink, and wash over pencil, 24.5 × 20 cm. SL, 14 Nov., #73, illus. (£1650).
A Young Woman Dancing with Cymbals. Pen and brown ink, 17.2 × 12.7 cm. Agnew’s, 118th Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Feb., #9, illus. (no price listed).
“Il Penseroso, L’Allegro,” engraved by G. Keating, 1798. Heim, May-June cat., begin page 163 | #83, 1st st., illus. (£675). SL, 12 Dec., #186, illus., with 5 other prints after Romney and other artists (not sold).
“Mr. Henderson in the Character of Macbeth,” engraved by J. Jones, 1787. Heim, May-June cat., #57, illus. (£800).
“A Man Sleeping by a Tree with a Flying Figure in the Sky” and “Mercury Flying above Sleeping Figures,” etchings. SL, 12 Dec. #184, “superb” early impressions, both illus. (£3850).
“St. Margaret Landing at Dunfermline,” etching. SL, 12 Dec., #183, early impression, illus. (£990).
14 drawings for book illustrations, including designs for Filial Affection, The Decameron, The Harper, and Gertrude of Wyoming. The majority inscribed, pencil, pen and brown ink, gray wash, 4 with water color, 13.7 × 14 cm. CL, 9 July, #26 (£495 on an estimate of £400-600).
4 studies of figures, pen and ink. Sotheby’s at Castle Howard, 12 Nov., #539 (£286).
A Biblical Drowning. Pencil and water color, 11.5 × 7 cm. Sotheby’s Sussex, 20 May, #342, with 5 unrelated drawings by various hands (no price information; estimate £300-500).
Canterbury Pilgrims [sic?]. Pencil, pen and brown ink with water colors on most figures, 16.8 × 49.2 cm., indistinctly inscribed “Milan . . .,” the top left corner repaired. CL, 9 July, #25, illus. (£495 on an estimate of £500-700). The auction cat. claims that this water color copy by Stothard of his famous design is “remarkably faithful to the original,” but other than the panoramic format, and the fact that a group of people on horseback are pictured, this design looks nothing like the engraving of Stothard’s “Pilgrimage to Canterbury” or any drawn or painted version of it I have seen. The middle of the composition is dominated by two dark-skinned figures wearing Moorish hats. The inscription hints at an Italian subject.
Cimon and Iphigenia. Oil, 92 × 72.4 cm. Heim, May-June cat., #36, illus. color (£28,000—perhaps a record asking price for any work by Stothard).
Katherine and the Tailor. Oil, 70 × 53 cm., illustrating The Taming of the Shrew. Heim, May-June cat., #122, illus. color (£6800).
The Portland Vase. A pair of studies of the front and back, water colors, 30.5 × 22.5 cm., perhaps associated with Wedgwood’s production of copies of the vase. Sotheby’s at Castle Howard, 12 Nov., #540 (£7150 on an estimate of £500-800).
Sin and Death at the Gates of Hell. Oil, 12.7 × 16.5 cm. Heim, May-June cat., #97, illus. color (£3250). A subject a bit out of Stothard’s usual line, but intriguingly handled in an evocative oil sketch.
An album of prints after Stothard, apparently all book illus., in 2 vols. octavo with approx. 460 pls. from The Royal Universal Pocket Atlas, Rogers’ Poems and Italy, and works by Byron, Scott, etc. David Waxman, Sept. cat. 4, #112, dated to c. 1830, full morocco, rubbed ($500).
Pilgrim’s Progress, the set of 17 large pls., 1788-93. BBA, 25 April, #58, 15 pls. only, some foxing, with a group of miscellaneous prints by and after other artists (York Gallery, £176). Ximenes Rare Books, Nov. cat. 93, #371, bound in a copy of Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress, ed. Southey, 1830 ($500).
“Rasselas Prince of Abissinia,” a pair, engraved by J. Parker, 1791. Heim Gallery, May-June cat., #93-4, both illus. (£600 for the pair).
“Sabrina Releasing the Lady from the Enchanted Chair,” engraved by E. Scott, 1793. Heim, May-June cat., #99, illus. (£300).
Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man Illustrated, 1799. Swann, 10 Jan., #288, 8 pls. by Bromley after Stothard, scattered foxing, original wrappers bound in ($385).
“Vicar of Wakefield, Olivia’s Return to her Father,” engraved by C. G. Playter, 1789. Heim, May-June cat., #75, illus. (£185).
The Bijou, 1828. Claude Cox, July cat. 85, #173a, original printed boards, rubbed (£30); #173b, another copy, lacking 1 pl. after Wilkie (£15).
Bray, Life of Stothard, 1851 (extra-illus. copies only). Claude Cox, March cat. 83, #329, 105 added pls. extending the book to 2 vols., ink drawing of an ornamental “P,” late 19th-century calf (very cheap at £85).
Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress, 1796. Swann, 13 Dec. 1990, #46, extra-illus. with unidentified pls., fancy binding ($303). Ximenes Rare Books, Nov. cat. 93, #366, light soiling of the pls., contemporary morocco, fore-edge painting of Bedford Bridge ($2000—a price determined by the fore-edge decoration). Swann, 24 Oct., #53, modern calf, front cover detached ($66).
Cowper, Poems, 1798. Ursus Rare Books, Nov. cat. 156, #50, 2 vols., contemporary morocco ($450).
Dante, Divina Commedia, trans. Boyd, 1802. Howes, May cat. 250, #200, 3 vols., calf rebacked (£225).
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, 1820. Buddenbrooks, Jan. cat. “Hibernus,” #29, 2 vols., three-quarter blue calf ($650). James Thin, April cat. 386, #171, 2 vols., some foxing (£120). Phillip Pirages, May cat. 20, #507, 2 vols., red morocco gilt extra, 1 pl. illus. ($450). CNY, 17 May, #58, extra-illustrated with proofs before letters of 20 pls. and 2 vignettes, plus 22 drawings by Stothard for the pls. and six (some not by Stothard?) not engraved, fancy binding, 2 drawings illus. ($8800).
European Magazine, 1782-84. BBA, 13 June, #159, vols. 1-46, 1782-1811, foxed and worn (Joseph, £1320 on an estimate of £400-600); #160, a collection of c. 560 pls. from, perhaps including begin page 164 | the two after Stothard (Joseph, £990).
Fénelon, Telemachus, 1795. BBA, 30 May, #156, 2 vols. in 1, pls. hand colored, contemporary morocco worn (not sold on an estimate of £150-250). J. & J. House, Oct. Los Angeles Book Fair, large paper, 2 vols. in 1, the pls. in the 1st st. before title inscriptions, contemporary calf ($450).
Goldsmith, Miscellaneous Works, 1812. Appelfeld Gallery, Jan. cat. 48, #117, 4 vols., tan calf ($350).
Hayley, Triumphs of Temper, 1799. Rota, April cat. 256, #674 (£28).
The Keepsake. Perth Antiquarian, Oct. 1990 cat. 990, #12, 10 vols., 1828-37, half calf (£250). James Burmester, Feb. cat. 12, #3, 1829 vol. only, original pink silk (£85). Blackwell’s, June cat. “Jenny,” #28, 1832 vol. with 3 others (1830-1, 1833) without Stothard pls. (£65).
Rogers, Italy. Robert Clark, Feb. cat. 23, #243, 1830 ed., half morocco (£28). Blackwell’s, June cat. “Jenny,” #39, 1830 ed., half morocco (£40). Appelfeld Gallery, summer cat., #137, 1838 quarto, with Rogers, Poems, 1838 quarto, uniformly bound in green morocco, occasional foxing ($400). Frew Mackenzie, Nov. cat. 25, #411, 1830 ed., full morocco (£48). Kenneth Karmiole, Jan. 1992 cat. 200, #105, 1830 ed., contemporary morocco, some foxing ($85).
Rogers, Pleasures of Memory. Robert Clark, Feb. cat. 23, #242, 1802 ed., contemporary tree calf (£15). Howes, May cat. 250, #285, 1810 ed., small paper issue, full green morocco (£75).
Rogers, Poems. James Thin, April cat. 386, #303, 1812 ed., issue not identified, contemporary calf (£31.50). Blackwell’s, June cat. “Jenny,” #40, 1834 ed. (£45). Kenneth Karmiole, July cat. 190, #99, 1834 ed., green morocco ($150). Ian Hodgkins, Oct. cat 58, #190, 1854 ed., slight foxing, original blue cloth (£35). Blackwell’s, Dec. proof list “Nigh,” #43, 1812 ed. bound with Jacqueline, a Tale, n.d. (£45). Young’s Antiquarian Books, Jan. 1992 cat. 37, #195, 1816, bound with Rogers, Human Life, 1819, diced calf rebacked (£38).
Rogers, Poetical Works, 1856. Frew Mackenzie, Nov. cat. 25, #412 (£40).
Shakespeare, Dramatic Works, published by Whittingham, 1826. James Cummins, May cat. 31, #163, 10 vols., full morocco ($1500).
Thomson, Jahreszeiten, 1796, with a title-page vignette after Stothard. Bassenge, 15 Nov. auction, #2609 (estimate DM350).
Thomson, The Seasons, 1793. Kenneth Karmiole, June private offer, worn ($150).
Young, Night Thoughts, 1798. Swann, 13 Dec. 1990, #292, some pls. lightly foxed, contemporary tree calf ($165). De Simone Co., Feb. cat. 23, #91, 1 pl. illus. ($275). Hamburger Antiquariat, March cat. 211, #987 (DM750). William Wreden, May cat. 79, #365, some foxing, contemporary calf “awkwardly rebacked” ($95). Howes, May cat. 250, #166, contemporary calf rebacked (£85). Deighton Bell, August cat. 256, #303, some pls. spotted, full morocco (£230). Rulon-Miller Books, Jan. 1992 cat. 101, #535, contemporary morocco ($200).
Young, Works, 1813. Hamburger Antiquariat, March cat. 211, #987 (DM750).
VON HOLST, THEODORE
Bertalda Frightened by Appearances. Oil, 79.5 × 61.5 cm. Heim, May-June cat., #142, illus. color (£35,000).
Hero and Leander in a Moonlit Seascape. Oil, 128.5 × 101.5 cm., signed on reverse. CL, 12 April, #37, illus. color (£3850 on an estimate of £6000-8000).
Appendix: New Information on Blake’s Engravings
Listed below are substantive additions or corrections to Essick, The Separate Plates of William Blake: A Catalogue (1983) and Essick, William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations (1991).
The Separate Plates of William Blake: A Catalogue
For previously unrecorded impressions of “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims” and “Morning Amusement” and “Evening Amusement” after Watteau, see list of sales of Separate Plates, above.
P. 62, “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” impression 2C. For further information, see the sales list of Separate Plates, above, and illus. 8-9.
P. 68, “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” description of work added to the fourth state. I failed to note the rather substantial changes in the landscape background ranging from above the head of the Manciple to above the head of the Yeoman. The gently rounded hill in the middle distance of this area has been altered substantially. Rather than sloping down to the left, as does the hill in the third state from its apex above the Citizen’s head to the clump of trees above the Sompnour, the hill now merges on its left side with larger hills above the trees. The right side of the hill has been shortened from its previous termination above the Yeoman’s head to just above the Nun’s head.
P. 69, “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims,” fourth state, impression 4AA (estate of Douglas Cleverdon). I note that this impression was sold at the end of the Graham Robertson auction, Christie’s, 22 July 1949, as lot 91, “not in the catalogue.” Thanks to the generosity of Justin Schiller, I now know that there was a catalogue for the lots “after the sale of the Graham Robertson Collection of William Blake” (title page). This impression indeed appears as lot 91.
P. 70, “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims.” In the description of the fifth state, I suggested that it may not be a separate state but only the result of the wearing away of the drypoint inscriptions, right and left of the title, found in the fourth state. I now think this unlikely. The fifth-state impression on laid paper now in my collection, described above under sales of Blake’s separate plates, shows as much stipple on the pilgrim’s faces and as much evidence of the begin page 165 |
P. 90, a previously unrecorded impression (1B) of “The Chaining of Orc,” now in an anonymous private collection. Wove paper, 17.9 × 12.4 cm. Although somewhat more richly printed than impression 1A, the inscribed date is still uncertain (1812 or 1813). Bound into vol. 1 of a copy of Alexander Gilchrist, Life of William Blake (1863). Acquired at an unknown time by a British diplomat, Hugh Frasier (or Frazier). Both vols. of the biography were sold to a Venezuelan diplomat in the United States after World War II. Disbound and sold by a member of the Venezuelan diplomat’s family, Sotheby’s New York, 9 May 1991 (see sales review above). Possibly the same as untraced impression 1, lent by Mrs. Gilchrist to the 1880 Boston exhibition and by E. W. Hooper to the 1891 Boston exhibit. Bound into vol. 2 of the 1863 Gilchrist from which this print was extracted is a copy of Horace E. Scudder, “William Blake, Painter and Poet,” Scribner’s Monthly 20 (1880): 225-40, a general article that begins with a reference to the 1880 Boston exhibit. See illus. 7.
P. 107, a previously unrecorded impression (2P) of “The Man Sweeping the Interpreter’s Parlour,” second state, now in the possession of the dealer N. W. Lott. Well printed, except for a strip along the left margin, on wove paper, 10.8 × 19.4 cm. For provenance, see “The Chaining of Orc,” above. Disbound from an extra-illustrated copy of Gilchrist’s Life of Blake and sold at Sotheby’s New York, 9 May 1991 (see sales review above and illus. 10).
P. 134, “The Fall of Rosamond.” For a previously unrecorded impression showing that the imprint was present in the 1st st., see under Separate Plates, above.
Pp. 178-80, “Edmund Pitts, Esqr.” In “James Earl: American Painter of Loyalists and His Career in England,” The American Art Journal 20 no. 4 (1988): 34-58, Robert G. Stewart claims that the “small head” exhibited by “J. Earle” (usually spelled “Earl”) at the Royal Academy in 1787, no. 12, is “thought to be the profile portrait of Edmund Pitts which was engraved by no less an artist than William Blake . . .” (38). No further explanation as to who thinks so or why is given. Keynes, apparently without knowing of the exhibited work, also attributed the design of the plate to the American artist in his separate plates catalogue of 1956 (78), but see p. 180 of my Separate Plates catalogue for Keynes’s later and more convincing attribution of the portrait to the surgeon Sir James Earle (1755-1817). In the second state of the plate, “Armig:” appears after “Earle,” indicating that the artist was the bearer of a coat of arms. Earle the surgeon was knighted in 1802, whereas the American artist never achieved that distinction.
Pp. 233-48, “Part Five. Book Illustrations Known Only through Separate Impressions.” A previously unknown begin page 166 | relief etching of Blake’s Virgil illustrations, cuts 2-5, with several significant variations in the postures and clothing of the figures, the arrangement of the sheep, and numerous details. Image 14.2 × 8.5 cm.; single plate mark around all four images, approx. 14.6 × 8.8 cm. Only known impression disbound from an extra-illustrated copy of Gilchrist Life of William Blake (1863) and sold at Sotheby’s New York, 9 May 1991, lot 9, printed on a wove sheet 15.8 × 9.9 cm. and with touches of hand tinting in black, illustrated in the catalogue (see sales review above). For provenance, see “The Chaining of Orc,” above. An essay on this print, now in the Essick collection, appears in Blake 25 (1991-92): 117-27.
William Blake’s Commercial Book Illustrations
P. 23, Josephus, Works. A copy now in the RNE collection represents a second issue of The Genuine and Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, datable to c. 1786-87. The title has not yet been changed to The Whole Genuine and Complete Works and lacks the final line on the title page of that issue (“And sold by all other Booksellers in Great Britain”), but does contain the reference to Edward Kimpton and other features of The Whole Genuine and Complete Works title page. These characteristics would seem to place this issue between the A and B issues in Bentley 1977, pp. 585-86. This issue not recorded in Bentley corresponds to the “B” issue in Roger R. Easson and Robert N. Essick, William Blake: Book Illustrator, vol. 2 (Memphis: American Blake Foundation, 1979) 23.
Pp. 25-27, The Protestant’s Family Bible. John E. Grant has kindly pointed out to me in correspondence the existence of Grazia Bernini Pezzini, Stefania[e] Massari, and Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Raphœl Invenit: Stampe da Raffaello nelle Colleczioni dell’Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica (Rome: Quasar, 1985). This volume contains reproductions of the print by Lanfranco and Chapron of Raphael’s Bible plus several other series, not mentioned in my entry, which could also have been the basis for Blake’s plates: Baldassarre Aloisi Galanini (published 1613), Orazio Borgianni (published 1615), Cesare Fantetti (published 1675), Antoine Aveline (apparently copies of Chapron’s plates, first half of the eighteenth century), and Giovanni Ottaviani (published 1776). Grant also suggests that I should have mentioned that the river in Blake’s second plate (“Lot’s Escape”) may have been suggested to him by the two small triangles of water in Raphael’s fresco (and in some of the engravings of it) on which Blake’s plate is based, and that the entry on this same plate should have mentioned, as related designs, Blake’s Night Thoughts water color no. 158 (the title page to Night V) and his tempera of Lot and His Daughters. The Night Thoughts design shows Lot’s wife turning to look back at the burning city, but her posture is not clearly related to Raphael’s version. The castellated wall in the background of the Night Thoughts illustration may have been influenced by Raphael’s similar wall. Lot and His Daughters is of course a different subject and to my eyes shows no compositional relation to Raphael’s fresco or Blake’s plate based on it. The tempera does picture Lot’s wife and a burning city in the distance, but these motifs are standard features of the compositional tradition Blake follows closely—see for example Rubens’ version (engraved by Jacob Coelmans, 1702), a large plate of the subject by William Kent (no later than 1748), and many early Bible illustrations in the extra-illustrated Kitto Bible in the Huntington Library.
P. 43, The Original Works of William Hogarth, Blake’s engraving of “Beggar’s Opera, Act III.” I should have recorded the inscriptions on the banner hanging above the stage, “VELUTI IN SPECU[LUM]” (as in a mirror) and “[U]TILE DULCI” (the useful with the agreeable, from Horace). The crest top center bears the familiar motto of the Order of the Garter, “HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE” (shame to him who thinks evil).
P. 45, The Original Works of William Hogarth, “Literature.” I have come upon several more references to Blake’s engraving of “The Beggar’s Opera,” including a few very early ones not previously recorded.
a. John Ireland, Hogarth Illustrated (London: J. & J. Boydell, 1791). In the long description of Hogarth’s design (2: 571-80) is the following on p. 578: “The picture from which this [print] is copied, was painted about the year 1729, for Mr. Rich of Covent-Garden Theatre. at the sale of whose effects in 1762, it was purchased by the late Duke of Leeds, and is at this time (1791) in the collection of the noble peer who now wears that title: by his permission it has been engraven by Mr. Blake; . . . .” In an unnumbered appendix at the end of vol. 2, entitled “The Original Works of William Hogarth Published and Sold by John and Josiah Boydell, . . . 1790,” p. , appears “103 Beggars Opera—[£]015[s.]0[d.].” In the second ed. of August 1793, which lacks the appendix, much the same sentence quoted above appears at 2: 329 with minor differences in wording and one major difference: instead of the ascription of the plate to Blake, “Mr. Thew” is given as the engraver without explanation. In the third ed. of 1806 and the reprint of the third in 1812, both lacking the appendix, the Blake reference in the body of the text reappears in an altered from: “When the late Duke [of Leeds] permitted Messrs. Boydell to copy it, the print was engraved by Mr. Blake” (2: 349). All four issues contain the 1790 outline engraving of the design giving a key to the characters and players (2: facing p. 571 in 1791, 2: facing p. 359 in 1793, and 2: facing p. 342 in 1806 and 1812).
b. A Supplement to Hogarth Illustrated; Compiled from His Original Manuscripts, in the Possession of John Ireland (London: for the Author, Mr. Nicol, and Messrs. Boydell, March 1798). This volume, frequently bound as a 3rd vol. with the first and second begin page 167 | eds. of a, above, contains the following on p. 368 under a heading for the year 1790: “The Beggar’s Opera. Engraved by Blake, and published by Mess. Boydell, from a picture in the collection of the Duke of Leeds.” This same statement (with “Mess.” changed to “Messrs.”) appears in vol. 3 of both issues of the third ed. of a, above, p. 359. This volume is a new edition of the Supplement under a new title: Hogarth Illustrated from His Own Manuscripts; Compiled and Arranged from the Originals by John Ireland (London: Boydell and Co., 1812). Note: All issues of both a and b have engraved as well as typographic title pages; the information given here is taken from the latter.
c. John Nichols and George Steevens, Supplementary Volume to the Works of William Hogarth, with Biographical Anecdotes (London: Nichols, Son, and Bentley, n.d.). The following reference is on p. 99: “From this Painting [owned by the Duke of Leeds] a fine Print, engraved by William Blake, with the permission of the late Duke, was published by Messrs. Boydell in 1790.” Facing p. 94 is an engraving by Thomas Cook, dated 1816, of the version of Hogarth’s design then in the collection of Thomas Bowerbank and now in the Tate Gallery (Blake’s plate is based on a different version).
d. Marvin A. Carlson, “A Fresh Look at Hogarth’s Beggar’s Opera,” Educational Theatre Journal 27 (1975): 30-39. This essay (listed in Bentley’s Blake Books Supplement, kindly shown to me in typescript) discusses the iconography of the design, the relationship between Hogarth’s rendering of the stage at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and other records about its appearance, and the theory that the painting was not engraved by Hogarth himself because of its potent political and social implications.
Pp. 71-72, Stedman, Narrative. For additional thoughts on the contemporary hand coloring in some copies of the 1796 edition, see caption to illus. 11 here.
Pp. 80-81, Hayley, An Essay on Sculpture, pl. 3, “Thomas Hayley.” I should have pointed out that this portrait of Thomas Alphonso Hayley (1780-1800) illustrates William Hayley’s verse “Epistle VI” on the death of his natural son, a student of Flaxman’s in the art of sculpture. For a reprinting of this plate in brick red, see Tuer under Letterpress Books with Engravings by and after Blake, above.
Pp. 89-89, Hayley, Life of Cowper, 2nd ed., vol. 2, 1803. I should have pointed out that Blake’s pl. 4, the weatherhouse and Cowper’s tame hares, is in the 2nd ed. printed, along with its accompanying letterpress text, on the recto of an unnumbered leaf following the blank verso of p. 415. In the 1st ed., the plate and letterpress text are printed on p. 415. The move was necessitated by additions to the text that carry the “Appendix,” concluding on p. 414 in the 1st ed., on to p. 415 in the 2nd ed.
P. 89, Hayley, Life of Cowper, pl. 5, “A View of St Edmund’s Chapel” after Francis Stone. In a recently discovered letter to John Johnson of 27 Nov. 1803, Hayley refers to the drawing for this plate. According to Quaritch’s catalogue 1150 of October 1991, p. 49, Hayley thanks “Johnny of Norfolk” for his “rapid & kind tho not very masterly outline” of Cowper’s monument in the church there, but is anxious to have the finished “monumental drawing.” Hayley further comments as follows: “. . . my apprehension being great that the delay will render it difficult if not impossible, for our Friend Blake to prepare his engraving by the Time our Book will be ready . . . Pray give the worthy artist whatever you think he deserves . . . I greatly wish to see the drawing before it is engraved—I trust you will send it very carefully packed without Glass or Frame, that it may travel most safely . . . .” The reference to a “monumental drawing” suggests pl. 6, inscribed “A Sketch of a Monument,” but Johnson was not involved in acquiring the drawing for that plate. This new letter reinforces Blake’s implication, in his letter to Hayley of 16 March 1804, that the drawing he worked from was lent by Johnson.
P. 93, The Plays of William Shakspeare, ed. Alexander Chalmers, 1805, 1811. As John Windle has pointed out to me, there are 37, not “38,” plates after designs by Fuseli. There is also an 1839 issue of this work in 9 vols., “Printed for Longman and Co.” According to Bentley 1977, p. 956, this reissue consists of remainder sheets of the 1811 edition with new title pages.
Appendix ii. False and Conjectural Attributions
P. 122. In his “Introduction” to William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, ed. Andrew Lincoln, Blake’s Illuminated Books, Vol. 2 (London: William Blake Trust/Tate Gallery, 1991) 14, Lincoln states that “early in his [Blake’s] professional career he was commissioned to engrave designs for [William Enfield’s] The Speaker (c. 1780), . . . and for Mrs [Anna Letitia] Barbauld’s Hymns in Prose for Children (1781).” Lincoln has generously informed me in correspondence that this second attribution is an error; there is no evidence that Blake executed or was commissioned to execute plates for the Barbauld volume.
P. 123. Detlef Dörrbecker has pointed out to me that the Neagle who engraved plates for Flaxman’s Odyssey designs was James, not “John.” “James” appears in the DNB, but all other standard reference works I have consulted, including Redgrave’s A Dictionary of Artists of the English School, record “John.”
P. 127. Add the following title: Oliver Goldsmith, History of England to the Death of George II, 2 vols., octavo, 1827. According to the c. 1928 “William Blake” catalogue issued by the London bookdealer Francis Edwards, Ltd., item 64, this edition contains 37 engravings “sometimes ascribed to Wm. Blake.” I have not been able to locate a copy of these volumes but suspect that the attribution has no merit. None of the illustrated editions I have seen contains plates by Blake.