SHAKESPEARE, William.

The Works.

Carefully revised and Corrected by the former Editions, And Adorned with Sculptures designed and executed by the best hands.

Oxford: Printed at the Theatre, 1743-44 Stock Code: 138662
£3,500.00

First Hanmer edition, illustrated by F. Gravelot and F. Hayman

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Notes

First Hanmer edition, the first large-format illustrated edition of Shakespeare's works, the first English Shakespeare published outside London, and the first printed at a university press, this an unusually attractive set in vellum with armorial stamps on the covers. Sir Thomas Hanmer (16771746) was Speaker of the House of Commons between the years 1714 and 1715. Printed on thick high-quality paper with wide margins and full page engravings by Hubert Gravelot after illustrations by Francis Hayman, "the most proficient English illustrator of his time", Hanmer's edition was a remarkable commercial success and quickly rose in value "to nine guineas, when Warburton's edition was going for eighteen shillings", before selling out within three years, in contrast to Alexander Pope's 1725 edition, which struggled to sell out after forty years despite being textually superior (Ray; Cambridge History).

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Description

6 volumes, quarto (306 x 226 mm). Contemporary vellum, brown morocco labels, gilt titles and elaborate tooling to spines in compartments, raised bands, sides with gilt roll tool border, central armorial supralibros of Sir Richard Borough, 1st Baronet (1756-1837), gilt milled edge-roll, marbled endpapers and edges.

Illustrations

Engraved portrait frontispiece of William Shakespeare to vol. 1, 38 plates and tailpieces by Hubert-François Gravelot after illustrations by Francis Hayman.

Condition

Spines and boards soiled, gilt crests lightly faded, occasional light offsetting from plates to adjacent pages, minor foxing and finger soiling to contents, else a very good set.

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