Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Books in Art, III

Louis Block (1848-1901?), A Still Life of Antiquarian Books, sold for £2,990 at Christie's sale 5937 (April 7, 1998; London, King Street; British Watercolours; lot 139):

Louis Block (1848-1901?), 'In a Library We Are Surrounded by Friends', sold for £3,600 at Bonham's auction 14300 (June 6, 2006; London, New Bond Street; Fine British and Continental Watercolours and Drawings; lot 117):

Louis Block (1848-1901?), The Bibliophile's Desk, sold for £1,680 at Bonham's auction 15800 (June 17, 2008; London, Knightsbridge; British, Continental and Old Master Paintings; lot 96):

If you click on The Bibliophile's Desk, you can see an edition of Lucan. Enough detail is provided to identify it as M. Annaei Lucani Pharsalia: sive de bello civili inter Caesarem & Pompeium libri decem (Londini: ex officina Jacobi Tonson, & Johannis Watts, 1719).

Information about Louis Block is hard to find. See the entry "BLOCK, L." in Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press (accessed July 30, 2013 at
L. Block exhibited from 1879 at the Royal Academy, the Suffolk Street galleries with the Royal Society of British Artists and the New Water-Colour Society, all in London.

Ian Jackson writes:
Did you notice, in the same painting that shows the 1719 Tonson Lucan, that the open manuscript prints lines 552-3 from Book Two of Gay's Trivia?
Volumes on shelter'd stalls expanded lie
And various science lures the learned eye


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