1927 · London
by (BINDINGS - A. GENOVA). BLAKE, WILLIAM. (FACSIMILE PUBLICATION)
London: Ernest Benn, Ltd, 1927. 250 x 170 mm. (9 3/4 x 6 5/8").  leaves. ORNATE CONTEMPORARY BROWN MOROCCO, INLAID AND GILT IN AN ENTRELAC DESIGN, BY A. GENOVA (signed in gilt on rear cover), upper cover with inlaid lighter brown morocco frame enclosing inlaid central panel of marbled calf, frame with intricate inlaid strapwork design outlined in gilt, calf central panel with intertwined azured gilt leaves and vines, lower cover and smooth spine with overall blind-tooled floral design, spine with vertical gilt titling, pastedowns with gilt-rolled frame, pale pink moiré silk endleaves, all edges gilt. In (original?) burgundy cardboard slipcase with marbled paper sides. The 27 leaves of the facsimile printed in color on recto only. Bentley, "Blake Books" 143. Spine a bit sunned, paper stock somewhat less than bright, otherwise a fine, wide-margined copy with no signs of use inside or out. This is a handsomely bound facsimile of one of Blake's most beautiful and popular works, printed from a copy housed at the British Library. Originally published in 1794, "Songs of Experience" built upon the work that Blake had done in "Songs of Innocence" (1789), in which he engraved copperplates in relief and then painted the plates by hand. Our facsimile has been given a notably decorative treatment here, with an attractive binding incorporating an interesting mix of styles and techniques. We have been able to uncover little about the Venetian binder A. Genova, other than that he seems to have been active in the 1920s, and the few books bound by him that have appeared at auction feature, like the present volume, extremely elaborate gilt tooling and multi-color inlays on the upper cover, while the lower cover is tooled in blind.
(Inventory #: ST15429a)