NEWS AND WORKS IN PROGRESS
RECENT BLAKE SALES
Warren Howell of John Howell-Books, San Francisco, writes that his firm recently secured copy P of the Songs for a private collector in the East. The Howell firm paid £12,000 for the copy.
Mr. Howell also says that copy C of Urizen (see the last issue of the Newsletter [#15], pp. 69-70) was sold at Sotheby’s on 29 March 1971 for £24,000 (£27,000 according to The Times: see “British Blake News” below). The Howell firm was the underbidder. Poetical Sketches sold for £3800 to John Fleming of New York on behalf of The Pierpont Morgan Library.
On June 15 the Blake-Varley Sketchbook was broken and sold page by page at Christie’s, with “Ghost of a Flea” most likely to win high-price honors. The drawings seem to have sold at about the prices expected. Robert Essick bought the “Head of the Dying King Harold Pierced by an Arrow” for $4065.60. Zeitlin & Ver Brugge bought the standing archer.
On June 24 Sotheby’s sold the pencil, sepia, and watercolor preliminary drawing for “Joseph Ordering Simeon to Be Bound” (in the Fitzwilliam Museum). The drawing was formerly in the possession of Mrs. B. Clarke. It measures 13 1/4 × 19 inches and is reproduced in the sale catalogue. The sale price of the drawing was $6720, considerably below the estimates.
Our thanks to Robert Essick for the last two items.
For more on copy C of Urizen and on the breaking and selling of the Blake-Varley Sketchbook, see “British Blake News” just below. For more on the Britwell Court Library copy of Poetical Sketches, see “Blake’s Corrections in Poetical Sketches: A Supplement” by Michael Phillips, below in MINUTE PARTICULARS.