LAVATER, Johann Kaspar (1741-1801)
Essays on Physiognomy, designed to promote the knowledge and love of mankind.. illustrated by more than eight hundred engravings.. executed by, or under the inspection of, Thomas Holloway. Translated from the French by Henry Hunter.
London: T.Bensley for John Murray, H.Hunter and T.Holloway, 1792 [watermarked 1804]. Three volumes in five, large quarto. (13 1/8 x 10 3/4 inches). 3 engraved title vignettes, 173 plates by William Blake (1), Thomas Holloway and others, after Henry Fuseli and others, about 361 engraved text illustrations (one on India paper mounted) by Blake (3), Thomas Holloway and others after Fuseli and others. Scattered foxing.
Contemporary blue straight grained morocco, covers with a wide elaborate Greek key border, spines in six compartments with semi-raised double bands, lettered in the second, third, fourth and fifth compartments, the others tooled in gilt, brown endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: Charles W. Burr (bookplate)
A very fine set of this influential work with four images engraved by William Blake, and the whole work overseen by Henry Fuseli.
Lavater's work was first published in German ("Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe") between 1775 and 1778. Fuseli, a friend from Lavater's youth, was one of the moving forces behind the present "sumptuous edition" (Lowndes) which was first published in 41 parts between January 1788 and March 1799. There are four Blake engravings: a portrait of Democritus (after Rubens), and there are three signed illustrations in vol.I on pp.127, 206 and 225. First printed in 1792, the work continued in print, with some changes to the imprints, to 1817-1818. The present set with paper watermarked 1804 and in a lovely contemporary binding.
Cf. Bentley Blake Books 481; cf. Lowndes II, p.1321.