1623 Shakespeare Partial First Folio

Value (2010) | $40,000 Retail$50,000 Retail
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GUEST:
I brought in a partial Shakespeare First Folio that I've had for about 15 years, and it's been in my family since my great-grandfather acquired it earlier in the 20th century, I believe. He collected a lot of interesting things from all over the world, so this is just one of his interesting things that he brought home with him.

APPRAISER:
If you talked about an iconic book in the English language, the First Folio of Shakespeare is one of them. Probably next to the Bible, Shakespeare is the most commonly printed book in the English language. Usually when you have a book and you say it's only 176 pages out of, I think it was 400-something.

GUEST:
400-something.

APPRAISER:
So it really is a partial book. But you open it up and there's no title page. We are missing pages. And usually you'd say, "Gee, this isn't going to be anything." This is the first part of Henry, then we get to the next one.

GUEST:
That's the third part of Henry the Sixth.

APPRAISER:
And then Hamlet. When you turn it back one page, you're just finishing up Macbeth. Now, this book was rebound. The rebinding is a very nice job, but it's not the original. All of this... My guess would be they probably did it in late 18, early 1900s. Two of the plays are complete. Those plays, in and of themselves, are valuable. You could take this book apart, sell the two individual plays that are complete. People will buy individual pages. Nice thing about this book, too, is when they bound it, they didn't trim any of the text or any of the borders. Now, you had an appraisal done earlier.

GUEST:
There was an appraisal 20 years ago at $1,500.

APPRAISER:
The individual plays that are complete have gone up tremendously. They're probably worth $10,000, $15,000 each.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Each one of the complete plays. And then you have around 160, 170 individual pages. $100 apiece-- that might be close to another $10,000, $15,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Basically, this book, as it is, missing half the book, rebound, fragments and so on, is probably, retail, a $40,000 to $50,000 book.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Which has gone up a lot since 1990.

GUEST:
Yes, it has.

APPRAISER:
I would advise insuring it if you're keeping it at home. It probably should be gone through page by page by page, double-checking absolutely everything. It's one of the ways they can tell if this all came from one particular volume or maybe it possibly might have come from one or two. Sometimes maybe a play was separate and they put it together. So all of that is part of the research. If this were to turn out to be a mixture of first and second editions, it's not going to make much difference. It might be $35,000 to $40,000, or $45,000. It's not going to make a big difference.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Brattle Book Shop
Boston, Massachusetts
Appraised value (2010)
$40,000 Retail$50,000 Retail
Event
Des Moines, IA (August 07, 2010)
Period
17th Century
Form
Folio
Material
Paper

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