London: Bensley for Cromek, 1808. William Blake. First Folio. Some scuffing and wear. Folio, xiv, 36, (4) pp. marbled endpapers, a.e.g., with an etched portrait frontispiece after Phillips printed on India paper and an etched title-page (both lightly foxed), typographical title page, dedication to the Queen, List of Subscribers, the poem and 11 plates engraved by Louis Schiavonetti after Blake’s designs. Old half brown morocco, cloth boards, spine and upper cover titled in gilt. Some scuffing and wear to the corners and joints. Very good. Item #3
First folio edition, the rarest and best edition of this famous book, with the famous portrait of Blake printed on India paper, thus a lovely impression. Slight foxing to the portrait and title-page, the last plate and pp 34-36, and a 2mm tear to the outer margin of p.21. Otherwise a remarkably good and well-margined copy with the first state (Davis for Davies) of all nine plates that can vary (three always have Davies)-- some of which were corrected in the second folio edition. Bentley, Blake Books, 435A. Bindman, Complete Graphic Works of Blake, 465-476. See also Essick and Paley, “The Printing of Blake’s Designs for Blair’s Grave” The Book Collector, Winter 1975.