Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The First Folio - One of the World`s most expensive book

William Shakespeare’s First Folio – $5.1 million

World's Most Expensive Books - William Shakespeare's First Folio Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies, a first edition collection of the bard’s plays, was the most expensive book sold at auction in 2006. The book was published in 1623, 7 years after Shakespeare’s death, and contains a dozen plays that have never been reprinted, as well as many that are considered classics today. The original printing issued 750 copies of the book and perhaps a 3rd of these still exist today, many of them incomplete. With its original price of twenty shillings per copy, the book has undergone a remarkable price rise. It was a literary custom and common practice for readers to make revisions, additions and annotations to original books and manuscripts and this piece is no exception, with many notes giving insight into the book’s readership.

 The book was auctioned by Dr. Williams’ Library, a London library that contains a noteworthy collection of first editions and manuscripts. It was said that the auction, carried out by Sotheby’s Auction House, would secure the finances of the library for the near future. Two iconic works -- one billed as the most expensive book in the world and the other the most important book in all of English Literature -- will go under the hammer at a Sotheby's auction here on December 7.

The sale of 'Magnificent Books, Manuscripts and Drawings' takes one on a journey of printed books from a scarce example by England's first printer, William Caxton, through indisputably the most important book in English Literature, Shakespeare's "First Folio", to a great landmark of natural history John James Audubon's "Birds of America".