London: The Trianon Press for the William Blake Trust, (1955). Limited Edition. Leather bound. Number 320 of 526 copies, octavo size, 54 color plates and 8 pp. Near fine. Item #CNJL1261
This work needs no introduction, being not only one of Blake's best known works, but one of the most important works of English literature. Blake's vision reflected a timeless narrative on the subjects of child labor and abuse, the despotic nature of church and state, poverty, and the compromises made in adulthood. The Trianon Press has given us a stunning facsimile of Mr. Lessing J. Rosenwald's original volume, from the Rosenwald Collection for the William Blake Trust, printed by the Trianon Press under the supervision of Mr. Arnold Fawcus in 1955. "Blake's Songs of Innocence were issued alone in the years 1789-1794 with simple colouring... After 1794 Blake continued to complete occasional copies of the Songs of Innocence up to the year 1820, but for the most part he preferred to issue these plates together with their companion series, Songs of Experience. The earliest copies of the complete work consisted at first of fifty plates, but soon one plate was changed and others added to the series, the final number of fifty-four plates being thus established; this was the proper number included by Blake in all the copies executed during the last thirty years of his life." The arrangement of the plates did however vary slightly, the copy here reproduced is copy Z in the Census of Blake's Illuminated Books published by the Grolier Club of New York in 1953, the plates are reproduced by collotype and stencil process of the highest quality by master printers Messrs. Beaufume and Duval, with a "Bibliographical Statement" by Geoffrey Keynes. This copy from the library of Julia Parker Wightman, prominent twentieth-century book collector and binder, with her bookplate to first pastedown. ***DESCRIPTION: Full teal morocco, lettering in gilt to backstrip, all edges gilt, 54 color plates; Arches pure rag paper, octavo size (8 5/8" by 5 3/8"), 54 plates reproduced via colotype and stencil printed to verso only and  pp. printed in brown ink, limited edition of 526, this copy number 320 of the 240 copies numbered 241 to 480 reserved for distribution in the U.S.A., with the original distributor slip from Philip C. Duschnes tipped in at the colophon. Enclosed in a marbled paper covered slipcase. ***CONDITION: A near fine copy, internally bright with no previous owner marks other than the Julia Parker Wightman bookplate referred to above, straight corners and solid hinges; some minor sun-toning to backstrip, otherwise fine; the slipcase is also near fine, strong and sturdy with only minor rubbing at the opening and corners. ***CITATION: Bentley, Blake Books, 187; and Keynes per "Bibliographical Statement." ***POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply, please inquire for details. ***Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.