21 Ultimate Gifts: Play Book

<< Back to Robb Report, December 2004

    Although official records noting his baptism, his marriage, the births of his children, the death of his son, and various sales and business transactions still exist, no writings survive that reveal William Shakespeare’s frame of mind when he drafted his masterpieces. His manuscripts have long since vanished, and he left no memoirs or diaries. Shakespeare’s body of work, therefore, must speak for its author, as it does in the four folios printed during the 17th century, the first of which appeared within a decade of his death in 1616.
     

    The folio, a book format that printers of that era usually reserved for works of distinction, is characterized by its large page size and great cost. This fourth folio, which Argosy Book Store in Manhattan is offering to Robb Report readers, measures 14 inches tall, 9.5 inches wide, and 2.5 inches thick. Copies of Shakespeare’s fourth folio originally appeared in 1685, and fewer than 80 remain in existence. This volume contains all 36 comedies, tragedies, and history plays attributed to Shakespeare, as well as seven plays that the book’s verbose title describes as “Never before Printed in Folio: Viz. Pericles Prince of Tyre. The London Prodigal. The History of Thomas Lord Cromwell. Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobhans. The Puritan Widow. A Yorkshire Tragedy. The Tragedy of Locrine.” Most modern scholars attribute only Pericles Prince of Tyre to Shakespeare, agreeing that he likely coauthored the comedy.
     
    The 918-page, calfskin leather–bound volume features decorative designs hammered into the leather, stamped on the edges of the covers, and incised on the edges of the pages. Argosy states that while the folio has undergone minor repairs over time, it contains all its original leaves, or pages, and that it is in very good condition.

     

    Price: $185,000. Contact: Argosy Book Store, 212.753.4455, argosy@argosybooks.com.

     

    Return to Robb Report 21 Ultimate Gifts

    When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
    This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
    Photo by Bob Tursack
    Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
    The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
    Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
    Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
    Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
    Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
    The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
    Photo by Michael Richter
    Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
    Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
    The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
    The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…