[1780-81] · London
by Blake, William.
Single plate. London: Harrison and co., [1780-81]. Single plate, 10 x 7.5 ins. Browned, margins foxed and chipped. § First edition thus, issued originally in parts and perhaps thus of great rarity. The last copy to change hands was in 1993 when Essick bought his copy; he has not recorded another copy in the marketplace since. That rarity is born out by ESTC which records 4 copies in all, two at the BL (seriously imperfect), one in Oxford (Queen’s College) and one in North America (Bentley Blake Collection at Victoria University). It is noteworthy for the profusion of illustrations from classical sources, and in the five plates engraved by Blake he shows his knowledge of the work of Rubens and Raphael most likely from reproductions in earlier illustrated books. See Essick, CBI, VI. Bentley, Blake Books, 419. Darlow and Moule 1273. (Inventory #: 110671)