JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]
JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]
JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]
14

JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]

Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 USD

JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]

Estimate: 15,000 - 20,000 USD

Description

Property from a Florida Collector

JONSON, BEN

The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]


3 vols. in 2, folio (11⅛ x 7 in.; 282 178 mm [vol. 1]; 10½ x 7¼ in.; 269 x 185 mm [vol. 2 {–3}]1616 Workes with engraved title-page by William Hole (Greg's variant *1), woodcut headpieces and initials, with preliminary blank ¶1, the 1640 Workes with Vol. 2 general title-page with woodcut printer's device (McKerrow 339), the three component plays with section-titles with woodcut printer's device (McKerrow 374), woodcut initials and headpieces; Vol. 3 Vol. 3 issued without general title-page, commencing with leaf signed [A1], section-title for The Magnetick Lady, other component parts, save caption-titled Christmas, his Masque, with section-titles; 1616 Workes with scattered light browning, mostly marginal foxing, and occasional rust-stains, S3 with loss to fore-edge margin not affecting text, Hh1 with paper flaw costing a couple of letters of a shoulder-note, 4 or 5 leaves with early repairs to tears into text, 1640 Workes with light marginal dampstain to fore-edge of first ten gatherings, some light browning and scattered soiling, some headlines in third vol. shaved close, generally affecting top rule only. 1616 Workes in contemporary calf, covers with a blind French-fillet border and central gilt arabesque lozenge, plain endpapers, red edges; extremities, joints, and spine rather worn with old repairs, front cover detached. 1640 Workes in eighteenth-century calf, plain endpapers, red edges; rubbed, rebacked, corners restored.


First collected edition, first editions of all three volumes. A near-fine copy of Jonson's plays, masques, entertainments, and non-dramatic poetry, second in importance only to Shakespeare’s folios as a seventeenth-century publication of English drama. The publication of a collected "Workes" in folio, its title-page adorned with Classical motifs, was a typically audacious move by Jonson, especially because he included in it nine plays written for the commercial theater. This marked a crucial step in establishing the literary credentials of the public theater, which was often dismissed as ephemeral at the time; one contemporary responded to the publication with a distich: "Pray tell me Ben, where does the mystery lurk | What others call a play, you call a work?" Jonson's concern in claiming the merit due to his plays is in striking contrast to Shakespeare, who famously showed little apparent interest in the literary afterlife of his dramatic works. Thus Jonson's 1616 folio provided the vital precedent and model to Heminges and Condell when they came to prepare the Shakespeare folio that followed seven years later, for which Jonson himself provided commendatory verses. (Shakespeare's name appears twice in Jonson's folio, listed among the principal players for Every Man in his Humour and Seianus.)


The second volume contains the reissued, unsold sheets of three plays published in 1631, which were edited by Jonson and intended to supplement his 1616 Workes. The balance of volume 2 contains masques, plays, and miscellaneous writings edited by Sir Kenelm Digby; it became known almost immediately as the "third volume," despite the absence of an explicit title to that effect. In this copy, the contents of the presumptive third volume, which are in a different order than that given by Greg, are bound before the second volume.


REFERENCES:        

STC 14751, 14754; ESTC S126501, S111824; Greg III, pp. 1070, 1076; Grolier/English 35; Pforzheimer 559, 560


PROVENANCE:

1616 Workes: Sir Arthur Throckmorton (ca. 1557–1626, signature at foot of title-page; he was the brother of Elizabeth whose secret marriage to Sir Walter Raleigh was the cause of Raleigh’s imprisonment) — Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (armorial bookplate) — Chas. J. Sawyer (offered in catalogue 194 [1949], item 210). 1640 Workes: Joseph Knight (armorial bookplate) — Howard Pease, Otterburn Tower, Northumberland (armorial bookplate). The two volumes married by William E. Stockhausen (Sotheby Parke Bernet, 10 November 1974, lot 304)

Condition Report

Condition as described in catalogue entry.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]
JONSON, BEN | The Workes. London: Imprinted by Will Stansby, 1616 — The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The Second [–Third] Volume. Containing these Playes, viz. 1 Bartholomew Fayre. 2 The Staple of Newes. 3 The Divell is an Asse. London: Printed for Richard Meighen, (1631–) 1640 [i.e., 1641]
Lot Closed