Shakespeare, William; Howard Staunton (editor)
Title: The Works of William Shakespeare in Fifteen Volumes [Vols. I-XV (1-15), Complete - #622/1,000 Edition De Luxe in Full Leather, Elaborately Decorated in Gilt]
Book Condition: Near Fine
Jacket Condition: N/A
Edition: First Thus
Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall
Publisher: London and New York George Routledge and Sons 1881
Illustrator: Sir John Gilbert, R.A.
Seller ID: 029811
Complete in fifteen (15) volumes, uniformly custom-bound in full red polished leather, all covers boxed and bordered in gilt, all spine panels elaborately decorated in gilt, with gilt on brown title labels, 5 raised bands, all text block edges in gilt, gilt dentilled edges and spine extremities, marbled endsheets. No. 622 of an Edition De Luxe limited to 1,000 copies, each volume numbered by hand on limitation page preceding half-title. Vol. I shows the gilt ownership embossment of William Kipling, 18th July 1890, R. C. K., with an identically stamped leather ownership book plate mounted on front pastedown; additionally each volume shows a cartouche mounted at the top outer corner of each front pastedown: "Belongs to Wm Kipling, Carrowcroft House, Romaldkirk" [Darlington, Durham, UK]. Kipling was a physician of some note and an antiquarian in Romaldkirk Parish. Each volume presents 2 or 3 plays in their entirety, supplemented by numerous engraved illustrations by Sir John Gilbert. Vol. I includes a biography of Shakespeare, and Vol. XV contains the poems and a glossary. All volumes fully intact, including all hinges, firm bindings, clean interiors excepting very slight foxing on a few early and late blanks and the very occasional slight foxing mark internally. Several volumes (I, II, III, VI, VIII, and XIV) show minor loss to the fore-edges and/or margins of several leaves due to silverfishing, mostly affecting only a few leaves, affecting perhaps a dozen leaves or so in Vol. I; Vol. I also shows minor surface paper loss at two spots along edges of front flyleaf. Leather shows only the most gentle wear, with a few slight surface abrasions and a wee bit of occasional rubbing to corners and extremities. (I) xxiv,360 + (II) [vii],392 + (III) [vii],384 + (IV) [vii],300 + (V) [vii],284 + (VI) [vii],402 + (VII) [vii],368 + (VIII) [vii],396 + (IX) [vii],422 + (X) [vii],418 + (XI) [vii],336 + (XII) [vii],350 + (XIII) [vii],412 + (XIV) [vii],432 + (XV) [vii],304 pp. Vols I and II prelims (Vol. I through half-title) contain a variety of vintage press clippings concerning such topics as lectures and the authorship controversy; interiors otherwise clean and unmarked. The most elegant set of Shakespeare that we have handled in more than 30 years of bookselling, in strict collector-grade condition. Photos provided upon request.