BLAKE (WILLIAM) Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832]
Lot 73
BLAKE (WILLIAM)
Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832]
Sold for £62,500 (US$ 100,965) inc. premium

Lot Details
BLAKE (WILLIAM) Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832] BLAKE (WILLIAM) Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832] BLAKE (WILLIAM) Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832]
BLAKE (WILLIAM)
Songs of Innocence and Of Experience, Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, 44 relief etchings, including 3 decorated titles, 2 pictorial frontispieces, and 39 plates combining Blake's poems, illustrations and decorations, printed in grey ink on wove paper, several sheets watermarked J. Whatman 1831, plate 23 hand-coloured, plate 48 on a slightly smaller sheet of thinner paper (240 x 185mm.), pencilled numbers at upper right corners, occasional light dust-soiling at edges, a handful of spots, plates 6-7 and 13 with notch at one edge, plates 12-13 with nineteenth century pencil notes in margin, final plate bumped at fore-edge, preserved in red morocco pull-off box [Bentley Blake Books 139, "Songs Copy i", pp.371, 428], 240 x 200mm., The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789-1794 [but Frederick Tatham, c.1832]

Footnotes

  • A SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLETE COPY of Tatham's posthumous edition, printed from Blake's original plates.

    After Blake's death in 1827, his widow went to live first with Linnell and then with Blake's friend Frederick Tatham. She died in October 1831. "Blake's copperplates evidently came through Mrs Blake's hands to Frederick Tatham" (Bentley), whereupon he reprinted the combined Songs and issued sets with varying numbers of plates. The present copy contains plates 1-14, 16-29, 33-36, 38-43, 46, 48-49, 52-54. (Bentley erroneously records this copy having plate 30 instead of plate 29.)

    Only a dozen or thirteen copies, and some further scattered plates, of Tatham's posthumous edition are known. We have traced only two copies of Tatham's edition at auction: a complete set, the Buxton Forman copy, sold in 1981; and the Vershbow copy (42 plates only), sold last year.

    Provenance: all but plate 48 were sold anonymously ("?by Tatham" - Bentley) at Sotheby's, 29 April 1862, lot 195 ("43 plates") for £4 6s. to Toovey; plate 48 was acquired separately, and the whole was then acquired by Henry Cunliffe (1826-1894); thence by descent to the present owner.
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