Lot 1
  • 1

William Blake

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • William Blake
  • Illustrations of the Book of Job (Binyon 105-126; Bindman 625-646; Bentley 421A)
  • Engravings from the proof edition, bound in green straight-grained morocco, gilt-tooled, by Riviere and Son
  • Each sheet: circa 428 by 320mm; 16 7/8 by 12¾in
  • Overall size: 438 by 340mm; 17¼ by 13 3/8 in
Engravings, 1823-25, the complete set of 22 plates including the title page, fine, early impressions, from the 'Proof' edition of 150 sets printed on India paper affixed to wove paper, published in March 1826, four support sheets with the watermark J Whatman Turkey Mill 1825, bound by Riviere & Sons in early nineteenth-century straight grained green morocco gilt, spine in compartments with raised bands gilt

Catalogue Note

Despite the engraved imprint of 1825 on each plate, Illustrations of the Book of Job was not published until 1826, as printed on the label found in some sets. There were 215 sets printed with the word 'Proof' engraved on the bottom-right corner of each plate, of which 150 sets were printed on India paper laid onto J Whatman Turkey Mill 1825 wove paper and another 65 on 'French' wove paper. The word 'Proof' was then removed from the plates and a further 100 sets were printed on J Whatman wove paper.

In his Bibliography of William Blake (1921), Geoffrey Keynes distinguishes two forms of the first printing of the India paper proofs: one on large paper bearing the watermark J Whatman Turkey Mill 1825; the other on slightly smaller paper. The present set is from the earlier printing which are on the larger sheets of paper. These were made in an unspecified small number and are uncommon.