1971] · [colophon: Boissia, Clairvaux
A stunning Blake facsimile. Printed on Arches pure rag paper "to match the paper used by Blake," these two differently proportioned volumes showcase two sets of relief etchings first printed ca. 1794 — each set having the same title, and now known as Series a and Series b. While Blake experimented with these plates ca. 1788, no printed copies from that time are known to have survived. The etchings are here reproduced from plates in various collections, including six from the Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress and ten from the Pierpont Morgan Library. The quarto volume also supplies extensive bibliographical and literary notes by Sir Geoffrey Keynes, signed in type by him, and elegantly printed in green ink.
This offering comes from the => limited edition of 50 copies numbered in roman numerals, "each containing a set of plates shewing the progressive stages of the collotype and hand-stencil process and a guide-sheet and stencil," of which this is => number XIV; this copy's guide-sheet and stencil come from Plate I of Series a. The total edition consisted of 616 copies on Arches pure rag paper: 50 copies numbered I to L, each containing an additional set of plates, 540 copies numbered 1 to 540, and 26 copies numbered A to Z for the collaborators. Mr. Arnold Fawcus supervised the publication, and Bernard Quaritch Ltd. oversaw distribution.
Binding: Both volumes neatly bound in full tobacco morocco with gilt lettering on spine, done by Duval of Paris, and housed in a Gloster marbled paper–covered slipcase done by Adine of Paris.
Bentley, Blake Books, 202; Keynes, Bibliography of William Blake, 218. Bound and housed as above; binding with a few small spots or specks and very light pencilling on endpapers, housing rubbed along edges. A handful of very small marginal spots; expectable paint and rust on guide sheet and stencil from use. => A beautiful and scholarly reference tool. (Inventory #: 38346)