London, May 25 (IANS) Christie’s sold the first four folios of well-known British playwright William Shakespeare on Wednesday, the first four editions of his collected works.
The folios were offered in a four-lot auction in London to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death. The sale began at 3.00 p.m. (local time) on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Christie’s said the sale was led by an unrecorded copy of the First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, widely considered the most important literary publication in the English language.
The First Folio contains 36 plays, 18 of which, including Macbeth and The Tempest, might have been lost without this edition. It is estimated to sell for 800,000 to 1.2 million pounds.
Prior to the auction, the four folios have been displayed in New York and London. The second Folio is estimated to sell for 180,000 to 250,000 pounds, the third is between 300,000 and 400,000 pounds, and the fourth one is between 15,000 and 20,000.
The First Folio, published in 1623, was a commercial success and was followed only nine years later by the Second Folio, providing a page-by-page reprint of the First.