SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). The Dramatic Works ... revised by George Steevens. London: W. Bulmer and Co., Shakespeare Printing-Office, for John and Josiah Boydell, George and W. Nicol, from the types of W. Martin, 1802.
9 volumes, folio (414 x 318 mm). Half-titles to each volume; 97 engraved plates after H. Fuseli, W. Hamilton, J. Northcote, J. Opie, J. Reynolds, G. Romney, R. Smirke, T. Stothard, F. Wheatley, R. Westall and others. (Some intermittent spotting, a few leaves with slight browning, some minor offsetting from a few plates to text.) Contemporary tan diced calf gilt, elaborate blind roll-tooling to sides, spines in 6 compartments with 5 wide raised bands gilt, board edges and turn ins gilt, edges gilt (upper joints to vols. VIII and IX repaired, a few other joints starting, a few minor scuffs, primarily to top edge and spine). Provenance: Thomas Yard (armorial bookplate).
The original paintings, the source for the "sumptuous plates, the production of which swallowed up a fortune," filled the Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall (Jaggard). According the prospectus, issued in 1798, a printing house, type foundry, and ink factory were all opened for the production of Boydell's edition with plates by the leading English artists of the day. Jaggard 506 and 508; Lowndes VI, 2263.
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