London: Moon, Boys, & Graves, 1832.
Folio. Full Leather. From the Preface: “The present collection of Shakspeare’s Plays differs in arrangement from any that has hitherto been published. The Tragedies, Comedies and Historical Plays are divided; and in each division, the consecutive order of the pieces has reference to the country in which the action is laid, or to the epoch at which it is supposed to have taken place”. Certainly a unique approach, coupled with printing of all of the plays as pages octavo in size and arranged consecutively, four on each folio page. Illustrated with 100 engraved plates, including two engraved portraits of Shakespeare. The Moon, Boys & Graves concern obtained the plates from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery and the dramatic images are “depicted from the powerful pencils of Reynolds, Opie, Northcote, Smirke, Stothard, Westall, Howard, Romney, and others” [Preface]. There are as well numerous text illustrations grouped in 8vo. size. Most of the plates have some degree of foxing, mostly (though not always) limited to the borders. One of the plates illustrating Julius Caesar has a distinct but not strong tide-line. Bound in brown morocco with elaborate gilt borders to the boards, turn-ins with gilt dentelles, all edges gilt, raised bands with gilt decorations. This is a very discreetly rebacked copy with nearly the entirety of the original spine laid down. An attractive ex-libris is on the pastedown.
Very Good binding.