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Blake in the Marketplace, 2013


Robert N. Essick

After two hectic years, Blake collectors deserved a respite. It was not to be. January brought to auction Two Visionary Figures on a leaf from the Smaller Blake-Varley Sketchbook and, for the second time in seven years, The Gambols of Ghosts According with Their Affections Previous to the Final Judgement, one of Blake’s watercolor illustrations to Robert Blair’s The Grave. The estimate range for Gambols was considerably lower than in 2006, when bidders failed to exceed the reserve price. Sotheby’s New York succeeded this time at the top estimate of $600,000 ($722,500 inclusive of the buyer’s premium charged by the auction house).


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