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Vol. 48 no. 4: Spring 2015

Blake in the Marketplace, 2014

  • Robert N. Essick
15 April 2015
15 Apr. 2015


The 2014 Blake market began slowly. Through April, there were no rumors in the trade of anything substantial coming to market, much less actual sales of Blake’s drawings, paintings, or illuminated books. The calm persisted until 7 May, when I learned from John Windle that Bonhams London auction scheduled for 18 June would include posthumous copy i of Songs of Innocence and of Experience. Estimated at £50,000-70,000, the forty-four unbound plates were quickly knocked down at the low estimate (£62,500 with the 25% buyer’s premium) to the E. J. Pratt Library, Victoria University, Toronto, now the most active institutional collector of Blake and his circle.