Welcome to the 4th issue of The English Bookbinder "Irregular newsletter"
OH CANADA EH! 5 weeks and 3000 driving miles later.....the restorer returns.
We left the June issue with a possible concealment within TE Lawrence's 2 vol set of Josephus...well have I got news for you...but before all that, what was going on with the first folio Shakespeare ?
After all the excitement, the Shakespeare First folio was sold for
the highest price ever seen for a printed book at Sotheby's London.The
hammer price was £2.5 million plus the buyer's premium making a total
of £2.8million... However; the word around the auction room was that
considering the condition and provenance of this folio, from Dr
Williams' Library, the buyer obtained a very good deal.
Newspaper reports stated it was "impeccably preserved in its original brown calfskin"
Ahem...This is a very important piece...but no where near a contemporary binding....The book has been trimmed at least 1/4 inch on all edges, speckled and re-bound, with the Williams Library crest gilt embossed to the centre somewhere around 1750.....The title page and 1st few leaves are in poor condition in need of restoration (as is the binding), the title having the Williams Library ink stamp to the foot of the page, this will retain its provenace from 1716 - to present.....and it is missing 1 page........Non the less, it is doubtful you will see another good honest First Folio in auction over the next several decades.... Simon Finch's client must be ecstatic that most of the big spenders never showed.... and Sotheby's must have been very disappointed at their absence also!