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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: July ::
First Folio Sold
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0652  Thursday, 13 July 2006

From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Thursday, July 13, 2006
Subject: 	First Folio Sold

Shakespeare Volume Fetches $4.6 Million at London Auction
Bloomberg.com

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=anCIUNSPNoLs&refer=culture

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- A volume of Shakespeare's plays, among the 
best-known books after the Bible and the Koran, fetched 2.5 million 
pounds ($4.6 million), or the low estimate, at a London auction today.

The bidder in the saleroom at Sotheby's Holdings Inc. on New Bond Street 
said he was acting for London rare-book dealer Simon Finch. The seller 
was Dr. Williams's Library in London, which said it needed money to 
survive and preserve its research collections.

The collection of 36 plays, known as the First Folio, was published in 
1623 after Shakespeare's death in an edition of 750, and probably sold 
for 20 shillings, said Sotheby's. Few complete copies survive, and the 
auction house had valued the library's folio at as much as 3.5 million 
pounds, or about $6.1 million, above the record for such an edition.

The nearest comparable First Folio sold in New York in 2001 for a hammer 
price of $5.6 million, said Sotheby's.

Shakespeare, who died in 1616, may be the world's most frequently 
performed dramatist, drawing audiences from Africa to China. At least 58 
films have been inspired by ''Hamlet,'' according to the Web site 
http://www.imdb.com .

Only about 250 copies of the First Folio survive, and this one still has 
its mid 17th-century calf binding. There may be only one similar copy 
left in private hands, said Sotheby's, which holds sales of English 
literature twice a year.

Dr. Williams's library was established in the early 18th century under 
the will of Dr. Daniel Williams, and is the most important research 
library for English Protestant dissent, Sotheby's said.

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