Jun 14, 2016 - Sale 2419

Sale 2419 - Lot 19

Price Realized: $ 7,500
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 10,000
BLAKE, WILLIAM; and EDWARD YOUNG. The Complaint, and The Consolation; or, Night Thoughts. 4 engraved part titles and 39 etched and engraved pictorial borders by and after Blake. Folio, handsome deep navy with decoratively gilt spine, thin borders, and turn-ins, by M.M. Holloway; pages trimmed to 420x318 mm; 16 1/2x12 1/2 inches and gilt on three edges, usual minor offsetting and scattered mild toning, otherwise bright and with strong impressions; "Explanation of Engravings" supplied in facsimile and laid in; custom blue cloth slipcase. London: R. Noble for R. Edwards, 1797

Additional Details

first edition illustrated by blake. Young wrote The Complaint, and The Consolation or Night Thoughts in the 1740s; when this illustrated edition was published by Richard Edwards, his poetry was still extraordinarily popular, whereas Blake was a 38-year-old engraver known to only a few. Although he set out to illustrate all nine of the "Nights," and completed 537 watercolor designs in less than two years, this volume, containing the first four parts of the poem with 43 of his designs, was the only one to appear. The cost of the project, which involved the separate printing of the text and the plates, was evidently too great, and the powerful illustrations perhaps conveyed a sense of mortality and transience that was a little too strong for contemporary taste. This copy contains a facsimile Explanation Leaf, which is frequently lacking. "The paper was only marginally larger than the copperplate, and even in untrimmed copies ... parts of the platemark may not appear"--Bentley 515; Ray 3; Butlin 66-71; Keynes 200.