The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 25.353 Thursday, 21 August 2014
Date: August 13, 2014 at 2:11:29 PM EDT
Subject: Shakespeare 4th Folio
I am the Pres. of New England Auctions and we will be auctioning off an original 1695 4th folio of Shakespeare's Works on Sept. 30th of this year.
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. Herringham, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley, at the Anchor in the Exchange, the Crane in St. Pauls Church-Yard, and in Russel-Street Covent-Garden. 1685.
Folio (13-1/2 x 8-1/2 inches). Engraved portrait of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout printed on the initial leaf with Ben Jonson’s verses “To The Reader” printed below, ornamental woodcut initials. Collation: 2, A4; A-Y6; Z4; Bb-Zz6; *Aaa-*Ddd6; *Eee8; Aaa-Zzz6; Aaaa-Bbbb6; Cccc2. 458 leaves.
This volume is paged in three parts: 1-272, 1-328, 1-303, with the following irregularities in pagination: in part I, the pagination 96 is followed by 99; 160 by 163; 254 by 243; and that by 254 repeated. Pages 33, 107,109,190, 191, 219, 246 are respectively misprinted 23, 109, 111, 186, 187, 221, 234. In part III: page 67 is misprinted 76.
“Copies even of this edition are difficult to find in choice and pure state.” –Hazlitt, page 547.
The Silver-Mathews volume has been treated well over the years with many leaves retaining a freshness reflecting the care of ownership from the date of is printing. The leaves show a minimal evidence of handling with the exception of an occasional finger or ink smudge. An occasional stray ash has produced small holes on some leaves. An extremely skilled hand was given the task to close a few margin tears. Varying light browning and a light stain to the bottom margin sporadically affecting signatures.
Paper defect H2 (affecting 1 letter) and top margins of S2, Z2, Z4 & Oo4 , tiny ash holes affecting leaves *5, B6, G4, H3, M5, N3, N4, P2, Q, Cc2, Hh, Xx3, Ggg, Tt2, Uu5, Zz4, Ddd2, Fff2, Hhh5, Mmm6, Yyy5 (6 affecting a letter), skilled closed marginal tears to title (two – 1cm), frontispiece (3 at 2cm), *6 (2cm), B6 (1cm), P6 (1cm), Kk4 (1 cm), Kkk3 (1cm). Several later margin tears affect leaves Y3, Ee3, Ee5 & Nn4.
New England Auctions