New York. Virtue and Yorston. (n.d.) C .1870. The Imperial Edition. Illustrated throughout by superb, tissue-guarded full page engravings upon steel by C. W. Cope.; W. P. Frith.; C. R. Leslie.; D. Maclise.; E. M. Ward.; C. Clint.; H. S. Marks.; W. Q. Orchardson. et al. Collation: Vol. 1 - Frontis, Title Vignette,32 Plates ; Vol 2. - Frontis, Title Vignette, 21 Plates. Complete as issued. 2 Volumes, complete as issued. Thick Folios. 11 x 15.5". Extravagantly bound in the High Victorian style in Publisher's original,decorative full crimson grain morocco. Intensely ornate gilt-tooled decorations and figurative motifs to front and rear covers. Gilt ruled spine compartments with intricate gilt-tooled fleural motifs. Gilt ruled raised bands. Gilt titles. Most luxurious and labyrinthine gilt-tooled inner-dentelles. Marbled endsheets. All edges gilded.
An flamboyant, imposing collection of Shakespeare in what is regarded as perhaps the supreme example of High Victorian Bookbinding.
Various light rubbing to covers. Small strip of leather lacking to front cover of Vol. 1 with resultant loss of gilt decoration. Previous owners small bookplate to Front Pastedowns. Usual light, innocuous scattered foxing, mainly marginal to Plates and not effecting images which are of supreme depth and clarity. Generally, a Near Fine, gleaming, jaw-dropping set.