The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0883 Friday, 16 April 2004
Date: Thursday, 15 Apr 2004 13:15:57 -0700
Subject: Hamlet Goes Unsold
Rare Hamlet Copy Goes Unsold at Auction; Lear, Caesar, Macbeth Reign
By Ernio Hernandez
Playbill, April 15, 2004
The rare copy of William Shakespeare's Hamlet that was up for auction at
Christie's in New York City April 14, expecting a closing price in the
range of $1.5-2 million, went unsold. Of the 100 lots offered at the
event, 95 in the collection were bid upon successfully. Bids on the
Hamlet copy - topping at $1.2 million - did not reach the seller's
reserve price. The unsold item will return to the estate of the late
collector, according to a Christie's spokesperson.
The auction, titled "Important English Drama including Shakespeare from
the Estate of Mary, Viscountess of Eccles," took place at Christie's
Rockefeller Center location in New York City, April 14 at 2 PM. The
collection brought in a total of $1,867,092.
The collection belonged to Viscountess Mary Crapo Hyde Eccles - a
bibliophile who amassed an impressive lot of English literature over 60
years in Somerville, New Jersey. The unsold Hamlet manuscript is the
"earliest obtainable copy of Shakespeare's masterpiece still remaining
in private hands," according to the Christie's auction data.
Among the other items on the bidding block were editions of King Lear,
Richard II, Julius Caesar and Macbeth. The current Broadway production
must have stirred some timely bids as the Lear went for $65, 725. The
Caesar and Macbeth also sold at $26,290 and $31,070, respectively.
Other titles in the catalogue (of over 100 lots) include writings by
such Shakespeare contemporaries as Sir Francis Bacon, Queen Elizabeth I,
Ben Johnson, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Henry Irving.
For more information, visit the Book and Manuscripts section on
Christie's website at http://www.christies.com
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