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    A copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio will come up as part of the Exceptional Sale during Classic Week at Christie’s New York next April 24. The First Folio, bringing together for the first time the collected plays of Shakespeare, ranks as the greatest work of the English language and, indeed, of world literature. Already celebrated on its first publication, it has remained a highly sought-after masterpiece over four centuries.  Only six complete copies are known in private hands.

    It was published in 1623 by Shakespeare’s friends and fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who collaborated after the writer’s death to compile this authoritative edition of his work. The First Folio contains thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays, including eighteen that may have otherwise been lost forever — among the rescued works are Macbeth, The Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, and Julius Caesar. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that a complete copy of the First Folio has come to auction. It is being sold on behalf of Mills College in Oakland, California and is estimated at $4-6 million.

    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published According to the True Originall Copies.
    London: Printed by Isaac Jaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623
    UPDATE: IT MADE $9,978,000 and established a new world auction record for any work of literature at Christie’s on October 14.

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