"THE PLAY'S THE THING": SUPERB TYPE-FACSIMILE OF SHAKESPEARE’S FIRST FOLIO, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND AND ILLUSTRATED
SHAKESPEARE, William. The National Shakespeare. A Facsimile of the Text of the First Folio of 1623. Illustrated by Sir J. Noel Paton. London: William Mackenzie, [1888-89]. Three volumes. Large folio (10-1/2 by 16 inches), original full dark green morocco, elaborately blind- and gilt-decorated embossed boards, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $4200.
First edition, “special” issue, of this handsome illustrated type-facsimile of Shakespeare’s First Folio in three large volumes: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies.
The fabled First Folio of Shakespeare's plays appeared in 1623. This "Special Edition" type-facsimile is beautifully printed on handmade paper, bound in publisher's full morocco and illustrated with "India-proof impressions" of 20 splendid photo-engraved plates by Sir Joseph Noel Paton, who was "immensely successful" as not only a painter but also a sculptor and poet (Houfe, 253). Each volume with frontispiece reproducing a known portrait of Shakespeare; "Histories" volume also contains a view of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. Prospectus bound into "Comedies" volume. Jaggard, 551.