New York: A rare and original copy of William Shakespeare’s ‘First Folio’ sold for over $10 million on Wednesday. It has become the most expensive work of literature ever to appear in the auction.
The auction house said that the collection of 36 plays which was published shortly after Shakespeare’s death is one of the only five complete copies which is still in private hands.
It contains 18 works on the print which were not published in the print previously and would have been lost to history that includes special plays such as Macbeth and Twelfth Night.
The book was published in 1623 by actors John Heminge and Henry Condell, friends of the English playwright, who were the friends of the English playwright is formally titled as ‘Comedies, Histories and Tragedies’ which is based on the three genres that the pair used to categorise those plays.
The version which was sold on Wednesday was the first copy which appeared in the auction since it went for $6.1 million during 2001. In Oakland, California, it was put up for sale which had kept that collection since 1977.
The bidding battle continued for about six minutes between three telephone buyers. The item was finally purchased by book dealer and antiquarian Stephan Loewentheil for $9.98 million.
In a telephonic interview after the sale, he said that Shakespeare’s original folios as the “holy grail of books.”
Loewentheil said, “(The First Folio) is the greatest work in the English language, certainly the greatest work of theatre, so it’s something that anyone who loves intellectualism has to consider a divine object.”
He added that the copies in the private hands might “never to come to market again and there may not be too many more chances left” to obtain a copy,” was quoted as saying by CNN.