A Handsome Copy of the Boydell Shakespeare, Perhaps the Most Beautifully Illustrated Version of Shakespeare's Plays

    William Shakespeare. The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare. Revised by George Steevens. London: Printed by W. Bulmer and Co., Shakespeare Printing Office, for John and Josiah Boydell, George and W. Nicol, 1802. The monumental Boydell edition of Shakespeare. Nine folio volumes. Approximately 16.5 x 12 inches. With half-titles and ninety-six beautifully illustrated full-page plates, including the infant Shakespeare nursed by comedy and tragedy, Shakespeare seated near the muse of drama, and the bust of Shakespeare at the church at Stratford-Upon-Avon. Beautifully bound in contemporary full red straight-grain morocco, boards decoratively ruled in gilt, spines paneled and lettered in gilt in compartments, five raised bands, gilt board edges and turn-ins, brown endleaves, all edges gilt. Some moderate wear to bindings, a few hinges starting, bookplates. Still, a near fine set, better than generally seen. "Boydell in 1786 embarked upon the most important enterprise of his life, the publication, by subscription, of a series of prints illustrative of Shakespeare, after pictures painted expressly for the work by English artists. For this purpose he gave commissions to all the most celebrated painters of England... Boydell's Shakespeare was the first great effort of the kind ever made by English artists, and its influence cannot easily be overestimated." (DNB). "No Printing Press ... ever produced a work in nine large volumes in folio so uniformly beautiful." (Franklin). Franklin, Shakespeare Domesticated, p. 47.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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