R. Ackermann. London. 1813 (Circa 1870?).
PORTFOLIO OF 13 PLATES. No text, as issued. (Paper size 14.9 x 11.3 inches. The portfolio is 15.5 x 12 inches). Portrait of Blake, by T. Phillips, RA; Engraved title page (dated 1808) and 11 plates, all stating Ackermann as publisher, dated 1813 and engraved by Louis Schiavonetti, after Blake's designs. The pages have a little bumping to the edges but well away form the engraved area. Plates a little dusty and toned but the impressions are good. The original portfolio is brown Morocco grained cloth with elaborate blind tooled designs to both boards. Gilt lettering to the front board. Only one small piece of one silk tie remaining. Yellow coated endpapers. 3 small clippings from bookseller catalogues, each listing copies of the Blair/Blake book, tipped in to the front pastedown endpaper. Some minor rubbing and bumping to the cloth but the gilt is still very bright and the cloth clean. Overall a very good example of this rare edition. ----- "When Gilchrist's Life of William Blake (1863) made the artist's name familiar again, a deposit of prints left over from 1813 came to light, probably in Ackerman's storehouse. Somebody (possibly John Cameron Hotton) reissued the books... There are no new title pages, no dates or places indicated; but the bindings are in mid-Victorian style, and could not have been made in the first half-century." [A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake By Samuel Foster Damon]. ---- "My theory on that is that Camden Hotten, who produced the 1870 issues, not only got the copperplates from Ackermann (with the Spanish inscriptions for de Mora) but also some remainders of the impressions and letterpress and bound these up in a slightly different fashion. He removed the Spanish on the coppers and had an engraver restore the 1813 English inscriptions, then printed for both the portfolio and the 1870 issue of the text with the engravings."--(Essick).