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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Rare folio edition of Shakespeare’s ‘Henry IV’ to be auctioned

The folio consists of his most important works like Macbeth, Tempest, and was together by John Heminges and Henry Condell, the playwright's friends and actors

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
October 27, 2021 9:40:04 am
William Shakespeare. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Shakespeare’s work continues to evoke interest. A report in The Guardian informs that a rare fragment from the playwright’s folio, that contains Henry IV Part One, is all set to be auctioned this week.

It adds that the first folio was published in 1623, and is regarded as “the earliest collection” of his work. After he passed away in 1616, 17 of his plays were printed. Had the first folio not existed, “18 of his works, including Macbeth and The Tempest, might never have survived,” the report states.

The folio, that consists of his most important works like Macbeth, Tempest, was put together by John Heminges and Henry Condell, the playwright’s friends and actors. Among the 750 copies printed, 233 survive till today.

As per the report, the fragment has been estimated by Holabird Western Americana Collections at $50,000-$100,000 (£36,000-£73,000). The auction will take place on October 29. “The possibility of owning a piece of the most important literary work extant is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity…We’re proud to present this original copy of a first folio fragment of Shakespeare’s The First Part of Henry the Fourth. Its new owner will possess literary history,”  Fred Holabird, auction house’s president was quoted as saying.

The report further mentions that last year a copy of the first folio was sold for $9,978,000, creating a record in the process. The buyer, Stephan Loewentheil, was a rare book collector, and was quoted as saying, “The first folio is the most important collection of plays ever published and revered throughout the world. It is an honour to purchase one of only a handful of complete copies of this epochal volume.”

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