First Folio Up for Grabs

News   First Folio Up for Grabs Sept. 10, the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's work, which is about to go up for auction in New York City, was displayed at London's Globe Theatre.

Sept. 10, the First Folio edition of Shakespeare's work, which is about to go up for auction in New York City, was displayed at London's Globe Theatre.

The first folio is part of the Berland Library which contains the Four Folios of Shakespeare. The library was built by real estate mogul and avid collector Abel Berland. This 1623 edition is the finest copy in private hands and is one of only three complete Folios in the United States.

In 1744 the Folio passed by marriage into the John Dryden family and remained there until 1913, when it was sold to Bernard Quaritch. Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach of Philadelphia, called by Nicholas Basbanes the "20th Century's best-known bookseller," became repeatedly involved with this Folio, being the agent for its passing into the hands of Commodore Mortimore Plant, Frank Bemis, and Morris Wolf, father of Edwin Wolf II and Manager of Rosenbach's Philadelphia shop. In 1961 it was auctioned at Sotheby's in London and bought by dealer John Fleming of New York City for Marjorie Newton, who acquired it to give as a gift to her alma mater. A dispute, however, interfered with the donation, and it was returned to Fleming. Berland bought it in 1970.

The first folio, containing more than half of Shakespeare's known plays, will be sold with three later editions at a Christie's auction of the Berland Library, which will take place in October in New York. Ten years ago a later edition of the first folio sold for £1.4 million, and this edition is expected to draw up to £2.1 million.

—by Theatrenow