Shakespeare’s first portfolio sells for record $10 million

Agence France-Presse

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Shakespeare’s first portfolio sells for record $10 million

(FILES) A First Folio edition of William Shakespeares' plays (1623) and considered to be one of the most important books in English literature is pictured at Sotheby's auction house in London, 30 March 2006. The rare and historic collection of plays by English playwright William Shakespeare was sold at auction in London on Thursday 13 July 2006 for 2.8 million pounds (4.1 million euros, 5.2 million dollars). The 17th century First Folio -- the first published collection of Shakespeare's plays -- was bought by a "London book dealer", auctioneers Sotheby's said. About 750 copies of the First Folio, which has been described as the most important book in English literature, were originally printed in 1623, seven years after the bard's death. AFP PHOTO / JOHN D MCHUGH (Photo by JOHN D MCHUGH / AFP)


A 1623 copy of the first collection of plays by William Shakespeare sets a new record for a work of literature

A copy of the first collection of plays by William Shakespeare was sold Wednesday for $9.97 million at auction in New York, setting a new record for a work of literature.

The price paid for the work, widely known as the First Folio exceeded by far the estimated range of $4-6 million set by Christie’s, which held the auction.

The collection, printed in 1623 and containing 36 plays by the English master, is frequently described as the greatest literary work in the English language. 

It was published after the death of the Bard, who lived from 1564 until 1616, and was compiled by two of his friends, John Heminge and Henry Condell.

It contains major works which would probably have been lost were it not the collection, including Macbeth and Twelfth Night.

Several books have brought in higher prices, such as the Codex Leicester of Leonardo De Vinci, which Bill Gates bought for $30.8 million in 1994.

But none is a literary work of fiction. –

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