Poetical Sketches, Blake. Vale Press.

Blake, William (1757–1827)

Poetical Sketches [Vale Press]

London: Vale Press: Printed at the Ballantyne Press, sold by Hacon and Ricketts, 1899. Limited to 210 copies; 200 for sale and 8 on vellum.

Rebound from original signatures. Cloth matches the original; Original paste-on spine and front corner title labels. No flaws to the new bindings and the original text on hand-made paper is clean and bright. The endpages are a complimentary marble.

Ricketts chose to follow Rossetti’s edition of 1874 printing ‘Samson’ as blank verse and reprinting ‘Advertisement’, the text attributed to Reverend A. S. Matthews. The illustration which forms part o the engraved title-page is a symbolic representation of Spring, echoed in the design enclosed within the ornamental initial O.

+++ Topography: Vale Type.
+++ Ornaments: ‘Hero and Leander’ Border, Half Border (p.xiv); initials O8, S6, T13; especially designed for this work testifying of Ricketts’s admiration for Blake’s works. The ‘S’ is a woodcut that runs over 19 lines of text, measuring 89×43 mm. It is one of the larger initials that Ricketts designed.
+++ Illustration: Center Illustration for frontispiece, woodblock of single piece with traces of photographic image. Designed and cut on wood by Charles Ricketts. The floral half-border not previously used.

Fine / No Dust Jacket As Issued. Item #17622

The poetical sketches were presented in prose, however, the Vale Press edition has arranged them as poems.

The issue sold quickly and was valued by collectors of Blake.

Ref: Watley B22; L’Art 42; Gallatin 25; Steele 10; Ricketts xxv; Capelleveen