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Thursday, 16 October 2014

William Blake: Rare Books and Prints

This Autumn Henry Sotheran’s will hold an exhibition on the works by the remarkable artist William Blake. We will be showcasing rare books and prints of the highest quality. Unlike upcoming exhibitions elsewhere on Blake, at Sotheran’s work can be selected for private collections.

William Blake (1757-1827), engraver, poet, painter, and visionary, was the creator of a complete mythology that is expressed most perfectly in the poetry and imagery contained within his illuminated books: Jerusalem, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, The Book of Thel, The Book of Los, Milton, and Songs of Innocence and Experience. These and his other illustrated books, his engraved contributions to the publications of others, as well as watercolours and paintings bear witness to a volatile, creative genius. Printed in exceptionally small numbers, study of the illuminated books was for many years the preserve of a small circle of scholars and historians. However, in the last sixty years, due in large part to landmark exhibitions and the publishing endeavours of the Trianon Press, Blake’s extraordinary world has been made available to a much wider audience.

For only a few short weeks the selected works will be on display and available as listed in our catalogue. Join us on the opening night so as not to miss what could be the perfect acquisition. 

Exhibition Dates

16th October – 8th November

Henry Sotheran Print Gallery
2 Sackville Street, Piccadilly, London, W1S 3DP

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday 9.30 – 18.00
Saturday 10.00 – 16.00
Admission: Free

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Rat Factory

Craig Cabell, Bellack Productions, and the Chairman and Directors of Henry Sotheran Limited are pleased to invite you to a party to launch virtual biographies of

James Herbert
Iain Banks
Craig Cabell

On Thursday 23 October 23
6.00 – 8.00 pm


2 Sackville Street
London W1

Cabell pays tribute to two departed friends and launches a new way of publishing


0207 439 6151

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

First World War Posters: 100 Years On

Henry Sotheran’s First World War Posters exhibition has been a resounding success. The posters to have remained so well conserved upon the centenary of their production, that it has largely generated an immediate reaction of awe and wonder. The original lithographic prints have retained their splendid colour and visual lustre, however, the posters were designed by artists who understood of the ephemerally quality of the medium. We cannot know if the artists involved in poster design could foresee the resonance of their work extending into the 21st Century, nor, that the posters could become highly regarded artefacts of modern history. 

Almost miraculously the posters have retained their quality and there are few overt signs of wear and tear expected from a century of physical history. To such an extent, that it is easy to imagine the poster in situ and location of the original purpose, across the country in train stations, recruitment offices or town halls. This is perhaps testament to the care for these objects not as posters, but as sincerely important artworks of national heritage importance. Aside from acid free linen backing the posters have not undergone any restoration.

The posters in the Sotheran’s exhibition relate to recruitment drives, important events, battles, characters of military history, regimental category, financial policies and are of international origin. Although the posters refer to the aforementioned themes, and were designed to reach specific cohorts to convince, inform and educate, the importance of the posters and weight we attach to them has not changed though the ages and they still demand deference. For though the images demonstrate types of period specific propaganda, they are now viewed with knowledge of the historic outcomes of the First World War; coinciding with the ability to view collectively in one location, what were international posters, seeing this exhibition provides a sincere understanding what constitutes a First World War poster.

Propaganda posters have various aims and objectives whether to mobilise, convince, declare, agitate, evoke reaction, and the posters are useful tools in understanding the social commentary of the age. “Corn. The Food of the Nation”, was a poster designed to enlighten the American domestic as to the benefits and diverse uses of the most bountiful crop in US agriculture. Whereas, the “Wounded Allies Days At The Caledonian Market, Islington”, demonstrates  the extent of the home-front efforts, and charity shown for soldiers in some of the poorest areas in London, not only for Allied soldiers from Great Britain, but internationally.

The exhibition selection is unique in its variety. This is a posters sale from a collection rarely available in the UK. All backed on conservation linen and protected for the future centenary. These posters are heirlooms, already being collected by museums; these works of art are an important part of modern history. The exhibition ends on Saturday 11th at 4pm, whilst we are open Monday to Friday 9.30am - 6pm, so do visit whilst these fantastic objects are in the UK for perhaps the only occasion for the next one hundred years!

Friday, 3 October 2014

“His name is synonymous with high style.”

[HORST]. LAWFORD, Valentine. Horst. His Work And His World.
New York, Alfred A.Knopf, 1984.
4to. (300 x 252 mm). Black cloth, photo-illustrated dust jacket; pp. [14], 396, [6], illustrated throughout with b/w photo plates; a fine copy in a near fine dust jacket.

First edition. Signed in ink to the the half-title by Valentine Lawford and Horst. From the library of Barbara Turk, fashion editor and stylist for publications such as Vanity FairHouse and Garden, and the New York Times, with her signed book label to the ffep.

Valentine Lawford was the chronicler of the world renowned artist photographer for more than thirty years. As one of the artists closest friends Lawford wrote this definitive book detailing all aspects of Horsts’ colossal creative output. The current exhibition at the V&A celebrates his reputation as the tour de force and industry leader, with esteemed colleagues of the international beau monde found in his characteristically composed photographs. Very few photographers fall into his rank, with his sitters and subjects including almost all the influential people of his period.

Sotheran’s holds a copy this principal text on Horst, that bears both the signature of the artist and his friend biographer. Through Lawford we are taken on a journey, exploring the impact Horst made in his native Germany, and then to Paris, New York. The chapters of this fine books contain the smallest details, that can only be observed my dear friends.

Throughout his long career, evident in this illuminating chronicle, Horst had an unrivalled visual appetite. The expression of his talent was unconventional and entirely unique to his vision. This is a powerful book for those interested in the history of dress, fashion or photography to have in their collection, a book that comprises of scholarship carried out by first had observation of genius. Given the recent exhibition at the V&A, many will have been exposed to the brilliant work of Horst. One of the only places in London that holds this special book is Sotheran's, so pop by and see it, for it would be the most splendid rare books acquisition.