Oxford: Shakespeare Head Press and published by the Press for Basil Blackwell, 1934. Limited edition. Fine. Hardcover. Item #18969
4to. Two volumes. (4),xxviii,316;(4)273,(3)pp. One of 370 copies on handmade paper (of which 350 are for sale), this being copy number 268.
One of the few copies bound in full brick-red morocco. Printed in red and black throughout in Caslon type, with 22 woodcuts reproduced from Wynkyn de Worde's folio edition of 1498. The text is a careful reprint from de Worde's folio of 1498 from the unique copy in the Rylands Library, never before reprinted, and bridges the gap between Caxton's edition of 1485 (reproduced by Sommer and later printed in facsimile by Scolar), and Wynkyn de Worde's edition of 1529, on which most modern editions are based.
Sommer remarks that the woodcuts reproduced from the DeWorde 1498 edition represent the first attempt ever made of illustrating a text throughout with engravings. As for the text, the few pages lacking in the Rylands copy have been supplied, and indicated by square brackets, from the Caxton edition.
Full contemporary brick-red morocco; spine titled in gilt. Top edges gilt in the rough. Marbled endpapers. This set is usually seen with the leather rubbed and degraded; this copy, however, is in fine condition with only the barest trace of rubbing.
The printing of this work was completed on December 13, 1933. Most sets bear the imprint date of 1933, but others, like this, are dated 1934.