New York: Shearjashub Spooner, 1852. First American Edition. Elephant Folio (22.2 in. x 28.4 in.), Two Volumes. In Good plus condition. Three-quarter bound in red morocco and red buckram with gilt ruling and lettering to spine and gilt ruling to boards. Volumes show moderate rubbing to leather and gilt on spines, moderate plus bumping and chipping to head and tail of spines and corners, loss of approximately 0.25 in. 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, along with discoloration to leather on front/back boards on both volumes, some minor splitting to leather along joints, and slight bowing to boards. Text blocks show light to moderate uneven age toning and foxing throughout interiors of both volumes, along with 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. With all plates as issued: 51 plates present in Vol. I. and 49 plates present in Vol. II.
CONTENTS: Vol. I (205 pages, [51 plates]) Front free end paper has been torn free, trimmed, and reattached with clear non-archival tape. Several small closed tears repaired with clear non-archival tape. Frontispiece has been tipped in and silked, repairing a complete vertical tear impacting rightmost edge of frontispiece image, and has a crease along the edge. Frontispiece tissue guard is significantly creased with chipping and open tears to edges, and a repaired open tear to lower edge (2.25 in. x 1.5 in.). Title page has been professionally silked to reinforce several large tears and two repaired open tears to lower edge of title page. Eight leaves following title page significantly creased, three of which have been silked, and the last of which shows some splitting to silk along crease. -- Vol. II. (200 pages, [49 plates]) Hole in buckram on back board. Buckram on front board has moderate damp staining. Front free endpaper and the first blank leaf have closed tears near spine (2.5 in.), and front free endpaper has large open tear to lower fore edge corner (3 in. x 1.25 in.). Six leaves following title page are significantly creased, and last leaf has closed tear on lower edge (4 in.). SC consignment. Shelved in Jey's Office.
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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. The edition on offer here is the First American edition published by Shearjashub Spooner in 1852, reproducing only the plates from the original British edition.