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Auction: Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books
was auctioned on: 6 June 2007
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SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616) Poems London: printed by Th...

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Estimate: £70,000 - £100,000
ca. US$139,028 - US$198,612
Price realised:  £204,000
ca. US$405,169
Lot number 225, Views: 154

SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Poems . London: printed by Tho[mas] Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson 1640.
SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). Poems . London: printed by Tho[mas] Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson 1640. 8° (140 x 90mm). Complete with 97 leaves. Engraved portrait frontispiece of the poet by William Marshall after Martin Droeshout *1 title with printer's woodcut device [McKerrow 283], second title on A1 with same setting as the first except last line reset omitting date. Two woodcut opening initials, type-ornament headpieces. Signature L2 is headed 'An Addition of some Excellent Poems, to those precedent, of renowned Shakespeare , By other Gentlemen.' (Faint marginal dampstains, slight browning, a few ink spots, I4 with small paper fault at lower margin.) Contemporary English sheep, blind triple fillet on sides (spine rebacked and gilt tooled in the 18th century, probably in Italy, with red morocco lettering-piece reading: 'SHAK/SPEA', spine torn at foot and a little wormed, sides rubbed and worm marked, front joint starting near the foot); 20th-century brown morocco slipcase. Provenance : I. B[ent?] (blind-stamped initials on binding) -- William Bent, Rome 1664/5 (inscription on front endpaper, second signature on pastdown) -- Giovani Remigio (twice signed, late 17th century?). THE FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE'S POEMS, second edition of the sonnets. A CRISP COPY IN CONTEMPORARY SHEEPSKIN AND WITH CONTEMPORARY PROVENANCE. 'Benson's revision remained the text of the Shakespeare sonnets until late in the 18th century' (see The Sonnets , edited by G. Blakemore Evans, introduction by Stephen Orgel, 2006, pp. 8-10). It omits eight of the sonnets in Thorpe's 1609 edition and orders them thematically under headings such as 'The glorie of beautie' and 'An invitation to marriage,' often joining two sonnets together and with pronouns altered to suggest that sonnets, written to a man, were addressed to a woman. While omitting Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece , the collection included A Lover's Complaint , The Passionate Pilgrim (mostly not by Shakespare), The Phoenix and the Turtle (attributed to Shakespeare), the song 'Take, O take those lippes away' from Measure for Measure , and elegies by John Milton and William Basse. The 8-line verse below the portrait is taken from Ben Jonson's To The Memory of My Beloved in the First Folio. STC 22344; Grolier Club, Langland to Wither 184; Hayward 30; Pforzheimer 880: 'most copies are in poor condition although three or four are known in contemporary sheep.'

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books
Date of the auction: 6 Jun 2007
Address: Christie's
6 June 2007, London, King Street