William Blake's Water-Colour Designs for the Poems of Thomas Gray.London: The Trianon Press, For the William Blake Trust, 1972 Stock Code: 141250
First edition thus, first impression, number 467 of 100 copies reserved for Paul Mellon, from a total edition of 518 copies issued in a range of formats (of which the present copy is one of those "unbound in the French style"), all printed on Arches pure rag paper made specially to match that used by Blake. In this extravagant tour de force Blake used Gray's poems, the printed text mounted on a large sheet, as the jumping off point for characteristically epic and imaginative watercolours. The Trianon Press reproductions are recognized as the finest facsimiles - each leaf is hand-coloured through stencils, working from the originals in Paul Mellon's collection. The Times Literary Supplement stated at the time that nothing like these books had been printed before, and that it was unlikely that they could ever be printed again.
Folio. Unbound, as published, in a brown quarter morocco portfolio with marbled boards, titles to spine gilt, in the morocco-backed marbled solander box, titles to spine gilt.
Front acetate and wrapper with tear from the bottom corner, the book somewhat rubbed with some marks to spine, but otherwise fresh, very good overall.
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