Volume 6 · Issue 3

Winter 1972-73

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Published quarterly under the sponsorship of the Department of English of the University of New Mexico. Support for bibliographical assistance provided by the University of California, Berkeley.

Morton D. Paley, Executive Editor, University of California, Berkeley.

Morris Eaves, Managing Editor, University of New Mexico.

Michael Phillips, Associate Editor, University of Edinburgh.

Michael Davies and Judith Wallick Page, Editorial Assistants for Production, University of New Mexico.

Graham Conley, Editorial Assistant for Subscriptions, University of New Mexico.

Foster Foreman, Bibliographer, University of California, Berkeley.

Manuscripts are welcome. Send two copies either to Morton Paley, Dept. of English, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Ca. 94720, or to Morris Eaves, Dept. of English, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M. 87131.

Subscriptions are $5 for one year, four issues; special rate for individuals, $4 for one year, surface mail; for those overseas who want to receive their issues by air mail, $8. U.S. currency if possible. Make checks payable to the Blake Newsletter. Address all subscription orders and related communications to Morris Eaves, Managing Editor.

Some back issues are available. Address Morris Eaves, Managing Editor. Prices: whole numbers 14, 15, and 21, $2 each. Whole numbers 17-18 (combined issue containing Robert Essick’s Finding List of Reproductions of Blake’s Art, 160 pages), $5. Whole number 20 (A Handlist of Works by William Blake in the Department of Prints & Drawings of the British Museum, edited by G. E. Bentley, Jr.), $3.

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) of the Blake Newsletter is 0006-453X.[e]

Copyright © 1973 by Morton D. Paley & Morris Eaves

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“Mary Magdalen at the Sepulchre”   (pen and black ink and watercolor; 16 ¾ × 12 in., 426 × 305 mm.) was sold at auction by Christie, Manson & Woods on 5 June 1973 to Agnew’s for £23,100—a record price for a single drawing by Blake at auction. According to the Christie’s catalogue the provenance is as follows: painted for Thomas Butts; sold by Thomas Butts, Jr., at Sotheby’s 26 March 1852 (lot 155) to F. J. Palgrave for £3 11s.; given by Palgrave to Lady Beatrix Maud Cecil (d. 1950) on her marriage to the second Earl of Selborne, 1883.

The catalogue entry reads in part as follows: “Martin Butlin dates the watercolour circa 1805. It is one of over eighty works painted by Blake for Thomas Butts. As David Bindman has pointed out, there appears to be a distinct group within the series, all of subjects connected with the Crucifixion and the Resurrection: they are of similar size, near symmetrical composition, near monochrome colouring, and all of upright format; ‘Mary Magdalen at the Sepulchre’ is part of this set.”

At the same sale Blake’s “The Mourners” (pencil, pen and gray ink, gray wash; 7 × 9 ¼ in., 176 × 235 mm.) was auctioned. The drawing is dated by David Bindman c. 1785.

Both pictures are reproduced in monochrome in the catalogue, Highly Important English Drawings and Watercolours, 40 pls., £1, available from Christie’s, 8 King St., St. James’s, London SW1Y 6QT.

Our thanks to David Bindman, Thomas Minnick, and Ruthven Todd for information and photographs. Reproduced by permission.


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