Shakespeare fans, we have big news for you. According to The Guardian, “an exceedingly rare” fragment of Henry IV Part One from Shakespeare’s first folio will go on auction later this week.
This specific First Folio fragment of Henry IV Part One is comprised of 13 pages, printed on antique paper in 1623. The rare fragment is valued between $50,000-$100,000. It will be auctioned off by the auction house Holabird Westernbird Americana Collection on October 29, with bids beginning at $26,000.
What makes 13 pages so valuable is the fact that it is a fragment from the First Folio. The First Folio itself is priceless, bearing the fact that it is Shakespeare’s first printed collection of his work. Seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio was complied and published by his close friends and actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell. More often than not, they worked from memory alone to get Shakespeare’s plays published on paper.
It is estimated that only 750 copies of the First Folio were ever printed, and only 235 survived. This makes a copy of the First Folio itself invaluable and highly sought after by academics and Shakespeare enthusiasts. Last year, a full First Folio was auctioned off just under a whopping $10 million.
It will be exciting to see how Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One from his First Folio does later this week. The 13 page fragment contains the whole play and is professionally rebound in bright red patent leather. For more on the provenance of this piece, the Holabird Westernbird Americana Collection has detailed information on their website.
Take a look at another bookish related auction that also occurred this week here!