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William Shakespeare, John Boydell

Illustrations of the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare

Shearjashub Spooner


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First American edition of the Boydell collection of the Illustrations of the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare.

  • Sold as a set of 2.
  • William Shakespeare (English).
  • Edited by John Boydell (English).
  • New York: Shearjashub Spooner, 1852. 
  • 205 pages; 200 pages.
  • Folio.
  • 51 illustrated plates; 49 illustrated plates.
  • Three-quarter bound in red morocco and red buckram with gilt ruling and lettering to spine and gilt ruling to boards.

Boydell was a British publisher and engraver who decided to undertake the massive project of creating an illustrated folio edition of Shakespeare’s works that took nearly twenty years to complete, and the first edition was published in 1805. It incorporates engravings based on the works of dozens of prominent artists, including George Romney, Henry Fuseli, Benjamin West and Angelica Kauffman.

Condition Report

Star iconVery Good
Like New

Volumes show moderate rubbing to leather on spines.

Moderate plus bumping and chipping to head and tail of spines and corners.

Loss of approximately 0.25 inches of material to head and tail of spines.

Edges show moderate shelf wear.

Light plus staining is visible on front and back boards on both volumes.

Discoloration to leather on front/back boards on both volumes.

Some minor splitting to leather along joints.

Slight bowing to boards.

Text blocks show light to moderate uneven age toning and foxing throughout interiors of both volumes.

Occasional light damp staining to bottom and top margins of both volumes not impacting plates or text.

Offsetting from plates to facing verso throughout both volumes and moderate chipping to top and bottom of pages. 


First Edition




Illustrated, Drama, Plays

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