IRELAND, WILLIAM HENRY The Shakespeare
Price realised: £2,700
IRELAND, WILLIAM HENRY The Shakespeare Fabrications. A collection of printed books; typescripts for an unpublished work by George Hilder Libbis (1863- 1948), folders of research material, many with numerous inserts, engraved portraits and plates, extracts from periodicals etc.; typescript copies of Samuel Ireland's journals; index of persons conne the fabrications etc. The printed books by W. H. Ireland include: Miscellaneous Papers and Legal Instruments . . ., 1796. Orig. boards (old reback). Folding frontispiece. Rhapsodies, 1803. 6 copies, 4 of them with eng. portrait. Various bindings. Effusions of Love from Chatelar to Mary, Queen of Scotland, 1808 (spine repaired). Engraved frontispiece. The Fisher Boy, 1808. Orig. boards (spine repaired). Engraved title. Scribbleomania, 1815. Cont. half black stained calf. Extra illustrated with engraved portraits etc. The Sailor Boy, 1815. Second Edition. Orig. boards (old reback). Engraved frontispiece. Signature of J(ane) Ireland on flyleaf. A Week at Harrogate: A Poem. Third Edition, Knaresborough, 1818. Orig. printed boards uncut. Engraved plates. France for the Last Seven Years, 1822. Cont. half calf. Shaksperiana. Catalogue of all the Books, Pamphlets &c. Relating to Shakspeare. Printed for John Wilson 1827. Half blue morocco gilt. Public and Private Life of . . . Mrs. Jordan, n.d. (c.1832). Orig. cloth. Extra Illustrated with portraits and annotations. Sale catalogues Catalogue of the . . . Library of . . . John Dent . . . Which will be sold by auction, by Mr. Evans. March 29th 1827. Bookplate of Frances Mary Richardson Currer. Cont. half calf. With buyers' names and prices. Includes the sale of the original Shakespeare forgeries as . Catalogue of . . . Prints & Drawings . . . also The Works of William Hogarth The Property of H. P. Standly. Christie & Manson. April 14th 1845 etc. Cont. half calf gilt. Engraved portrait frontis. Partially interleaved with blanks and prices. Ireland, Samuel. Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth. 2 vols., 1794-99 4to, cont. calf gilt (joints cracked). Engraved plates. Staunton, H. Memorials of Shakespeare. Day & Co. (1864). Folio, orig. cloth gilt. Two portraits and facsimiles. With other books, including works by other authors, all with references or relevance to the Irelands. The majority with labels on upper covers. 8vo. or 12mo. unless otherwise stated. The history of W. H. Ireland (1777-1835), son of the engraver and author Samuel, is well known. In 1794 the young Ireland began forging Shakespeare's signature on various deeds and in printed books, the collection being exhibited the following year. Many eminent men of letters were deceived. Encouraged, Ireland produced a play entitled Vortigern and Rowena, purporting to be by Shakespeare. Doubts began to be raised and when the piece was put on at Drury Lane the audience burst out laughing. (See DNB for a full account.) George Hilder Libbis's grandfather was James Hilder (1776-1852), print and picture dealer at 41 Grays Inn Road. He was considered one of the best judges of pictures and his opinion was much sought after. He was the father of John and Richard Hilder the artists (a collection of their paintings was sold by Lawrences in February 2002), and Anne Elizabeth, George's mother. From about 1812-34 James assisted his friend William Henry Ireland with money on various occasions. The yew and elm Windsor armchair included in the lot was used by Ireland on his visits to James Hilder. There is a small plaque to that effect inset into the seat. To quote from the unpublished typescript of G. H. Libbis, 'My mother described William Henry as tall and handsome, of a fine presence, very vivacious, full of interesting reminiscences and charming manners', though when reproved about the forgeries he showed 'no expression of contrition'.(43 vols, 18 folders, a framed engraved portrait and armchair)See illustration page 171. £800-1200
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