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132935 132935_1 132935_2 132935_3 132935_4 132935_5 132935_6
132935
SHAKESPEARE, William.

The Dramatic Works....

Revised by George Steevens.

Availability: In stock

Published: London by W. Bulmer and Co. for John and Josiah Boydell, George and W. Nichol; from the types of W. Martin, 1802

Stock Code: 132935

£8,750
OR On display in 43 Dover Street

Notes

First Boydell edition. This lavish edition was the brainchild of John Boydell (1720-1804), who had been responsible for the publication in mezzotint of some of the most impressive paintings of the period. He and his nephew Josiah Boydell conceived this set, with typography by Bulmer and paper by Whatman, to be embellished with one series of large and another series of small prints, all taken from specially commissioned paintings by leading artists and engravers. The endeavour was not as successful as hoped. The costs were enormous, the first prints to come out in 1792 were not well received, and the European trade in luxury goods was badly hit by the Napoleonic wars. Nevertheless Boydell's Shakespeare has long retained its appeal to collectors, and Jaggard notes its increasing rarity as parts are broken up for its decorative plates. While Jaggard calls for 100 plates, complete copies can have anywhere between 95 and 100 plates due to Boydell's inconsistent methods of assembling the volumes; this set is bound without the two portraits of Shakespeare generally found.

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Description

9 volumes, folio (418 x 315 mm). Contemporary marbled calf, rebacked with original spines laid down, smooth spines lettered and tooled in gilt.

Illustrations

With 96 plates including frontispiece, after Reynolds, Northcote, Porter, Bunbury, Opie, Westall, Smirke, Stothard, Hamilton, and other eminent artists.

Condition

A few light scratches to covers, occasional instances of foxing but generally clean, paper repairs to half-titles of vols. V and VII, vol. V with staining at foot of first two leaves, slight creasing to first few leaves of vol. VIII. A very good set.

Delivery

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