William Shakespeare collectibles
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) was an English poet and playwright. There is little documentation of Shakespeare’s life and what we do know comes from his works and church documents that have survived since Elizabethan times.
Shakespeare was baptised in the parish church of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England on 24 April 1564, though his exact date of birth is not known.
Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a local farmer’s daughter who was eight years older than him, in 1582, and their first daughter, Susanna, was born six months later. Shakespeare became a father to twins, Judith and Hamnet in 1585.
Shakespeare’s first poetry began to appear in 1593 and records of his first plays began to appear in 1594. It is thought that from 1594 to 1611, Shakespeare may have produced two plays a year. His earliest plays include Henry VI, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Merchant of Venice.
Shakespeare spent some time acting with the Lord Chamberlain’s Company which became the King’s Company when James succeeded to the throne in 1603.
It is thought that Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life as a wealthy man in Stratford-upon-Avon.
He died in April 1616 and was buried at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.
The first collection of Shakespeare’s plays, the First Folio, was published in 1623.
Rare editions of Shakespeare's books have been known to fetch very large sums of money at auction.
In July 2006, a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio still in its original calfskin binding was sold by Sotheby's for $5.2 million.
In December 2010, Sotheby’s sold another rare copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio for £2.36 million.
William Shakespeare’s signature is believed to be the most valuable autograph in history, as only six copies are known to exist today.
All of these six copies are held by museums or other institutions.
The last recorded sale of a Shakespeare autograph occurred in 1898, when it sold for $510. It is believed that if a Shakespeare autograph were to appear on the market today, it would be worth around £3 million.
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