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    A Wonderful Copy of the Fourth Folio of Shakespeare's Plays

    William Shakespeare. Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Original Copies. Unto which is added, Seven Plays, Never before Printed in Folio: viz. Pericles Prince of Tyre. The London Prodigal. The History of Thomas Lord Cromwel. Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham. The Puritan Widow. A Yorkshire Tragedy. The Tragedy of Locrine. The Fourth Edition. London: Printed for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley, 1685.

    The Fourth Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, first state of the imprint (without Chiswell's name). Large folio (13.8125 x 8.8125 inches; 350 x 224 mm). [12], 96, 99-160, 163-254, 243 [i.e. 253]-272, [1], [1, blank], 328, 303, [1] pages. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout, with ten-line poem by Ben Jonson, entitled "To the Reader," underneath. Woodcut printer's device on title-page (McKerrow 263). Decorative woodcut initials.

    Bound by Rivière & Son in full red hard-grain morocco. Covers decoratively paneled in gilt, spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, all edges gilt. Joints expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Short tear to lower margin of title, several additional leaves with small marginal tears or paper flaws, most expertly repaired, not affecting text. Two tiny rust holes to leaf P5, just touching rule on recto and one letter on verso. Occasional very minor staining. Overall, a wonderful copy, very tall and fresh.

    The Fourth Folio was the stateliest of all the folios, being printed on a Royal stock, distinctly larger than the sheets of the Third Folio, which in turn is on a larger sheet than the First and Second. The last edition of Shakespeare's plays printed in the seventeenth century and the last to be printed before the editorial endeavors of the eighteenth century.

    Bartlett 123. Greg III, pp. 1119-1121. Jaggard, p. 497. Pforzheimer 910. Wing S2915.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2010
    11th-12th Thursday-Friday
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