Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
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Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery
American edition published by Shearjashub Spooner, 106 Liberty Street, New York: 1852

John Boydell (1719-1804), a London alderman, made his fortune as a publisher of books, illustrations and engravings that were popular in England and on the continent. In 1786, he and a group of associates devised a grand plan to publish an edition of engravings based on commissioned paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays by the best artists of the period. Boydell opened The Shakespeare Gallery in 1789 in Pall Mall to house the painting collection, and the first set of engravings based on the works was issued in 1791. The nine-volume folio edition was published in 1802, and in 1803 Boydell printed the two-volume elephant folios of all the engravings based on the paintings in the gallery.

One of the most celebrated of all editions of Shakespeare, the Boydell Shakespeare was by any standards a monumental production. Boydell's artisans produced the finest engravings with meticulous detail. Boydell even created a type foundry, ink factory and a printing house specifically for this edition. The result was a beautiful, luxurious edition that took nearly sixteen years to produce.
Boydell’s original plates were purchased and restored by Shearjashub Spooner (1809-1859) in 1852, after which he published a two-volume set with the somewhat ponderous title The American edition of Boydell's Illustrations of the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare, by the Most Eminent Artists of Great Britain. Spooner was a successful New York dentist who produced several other arts publishing projects. Spooner’s Boydell Shakespeare edition has rich impressions, many details having been enlivened by the re-engraving of worn areas.  Therefore, these are later states of the earlier prints, one indication of which is a plate number to the left of the title area. 
 

For much more information on the Boydell's massive undertaking of Shakespeare engravings,
please click here.


Original engravings over 160 years old — NOT modern reproductions!

Sheet sizes and image sizes vary somewhat. See descriptions below thumbnail images for size and condition report.

Please click on the thumbnails below for an enlarged view.

Macbeth
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Macbeth

Act I, Scene III

A Heath. Macbeth, Banquo, & three Witches.

Painted by H. Fuseli
Engraved by Jas. Caldwell

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.75 x 22 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.75 x 17.25 inches

Foxing mostly in margins and around text—but a couple of unobtrusive spots in image as well. Paper loss upper left corner about one inch outside of image area. Image is not affected.

$400

Macbeth
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Macbeth

Act IV, Scene I

A dark Cave. In the middle a Cauldron boiling. Three Witches, Macbeth, Hecate, &c.

Painted by the late Sir Joshua Reynolds
President of the Royal Academy
Engraved by Robt. Thew
Hist. Engraver to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.75 x 22 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.75 x 17.25 inches

LIght foxing mostly in margins and around text. Short tear at edge of paper in right margin.

$500

Othello
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Othello

Act V, Scene II

Desdemona in bed asleep

Painted by Josiah Boydell
Engraved by William Leney

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 20 x 27.5 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 16 x 22.5 inches

Damp stain upper left corner, just touching outer edge of image, light unobtrusive foxing within image, very soft bend upper right corner (not noticeable once matted/framed).

$400

Othello
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Othello

Act V, Scene II

A Bedchamber. Desdemona in bed asleep

Painted by J. Graham
Engraved by William Leney

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 18 x 24.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 14 x 19.25 inches

Very small damp stain upper left corner, light smudeges in margin

$350

As You Like It
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

As You Like It

Act IV, Scene III

A Forest. Orlando and Oliver.

Painted by Raphael West
Engraved by W.C. Wilson

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.25 x 22.25 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.25 x 17 inches

Light foxing, mainly in margin but also in sky area.

$325

Tempest
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Tempest

Act I, Scene I

The inchanted [sic] Island: before the Cell of Prospero.
Prospero & Miranda.

Painted by Raphael West
Engraved by W.C. Wilson

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 29 x 22.5 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.25 x 17 inches

Light foxing, mainly in margins and around text but also unobtrusive spots in image.

Tempest
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Tempest

Act I, Scene II

The inchanted [sic] Island: before the Cell of Prospero.
Prospero, Miranda, Caliban & Ariel.

Painted by H. Fuseli, R.A.
Engraved by I.P. Simon

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27 x 22.5 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.25 x 16.75 inches

Light foxing, mainly in margins and around text. Light dampstain upper right corner.

$350

Tempest
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Merry Wives of Windsor

Act V, Scene V

Windsor Park. Falstaff disguised with a buck's head, &c.

Painted by Robert Smirke. R.A.
Engraved by I. Taylor

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 28.75 x 22.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.5 x 17.25 inches

Foxing in margins and image, but not noticeable in image area.

$275

Julius Caesar
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

Julius Caesar

Act IV, Scene III

Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis.
Brutus & the Ghost of Caesar.

Painted by R. Westalli, R.A.
Engraved by Edward Scriven
Historical Engraver to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 20 x 27.5 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 16 x 22.5 inches

Very minor foxing in margins.

$450

KIng Richard the III
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

KIng Richard the III

Act III, Scene I

Painted by James Northcote
Engraved by Robert Thew
Historical Engraver to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 20 x 27.5 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 16 x 22.5 inches

Large dampstains in upper corners (not really noticeable within image area). Foxing in margins.

$300

KIng Richard the III
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

KIng Richard the III

Act IV, Scene III

Painted by James Northcote
Engraved by Francis Legat

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 18 x 24.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 14.25 x 19.75 inches

Very minor foxing in margins.

$250

KIng Richard the III
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

KIng Richard the III

Act IV, Scene III

The Tower of London

Painted by James Northcote, R.A.
Engraved by William Skelton

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 18 x 24.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 14.5 x 19.75 inches

Very minor foxing in margins.

$325

King Henry the Fourth
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry the Fourth

First Part, Act II, Scene II

The Road by Gadshill. Prince Henry, Poins, Peto, Falstaff, &c.

Painted by R. Smirke, R.A. & Joseph Farington, R.A.
Engraved by Samuel Middiman

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 28.75 x 22.25 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.5 x 17.25 inches

Foxed. Damp stain upper right (not really noticeable within image area.)

$275

King Henry the Fourth
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry the Fourth

First Part, Act II, Scene II

The Archdeacon of Bangor's House in Wales.
Hotspur, Worcester, Mortimer & Owen Glendower.

Painted by R. Westall, R.A.
Engraved by I.P. Simon

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 19.75 x 27 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 15.75 x 22 inches

Minor foxing in margin/title

$450

King Henry the Fourth
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry the Fourth

Second Part, Act II, Scene IV

Doll Tearsheet. Falstaff, Henry, Poins.

Painted by Henry Fuselli, R.A.
Engraved by William Leney

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 18 x 24.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 14.25 x 19.5 inches

Minor foxing in margins/title

King Henry 6th
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry 6th

First Part, Act II, Scene V

'My Lord, your loving nephew is come.'

Painted by J. Northcote, R.A.
Engraved by R. Thew
Historical Engraver to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 19.75 x 27 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 15.75 x 22 inches

Foxing in margins/title

$275

King Henry 6th
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry 6th

First Part, Act III, Scene III

'See, how the pangs of death do make him grin.'

Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Engraved by Caro.e Watson
Engraver to Her Majesty

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 18 x 24.75 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 14.5 x 20 inches

Dampstain upper left corner, not noticeable within image.

$350

King Henry 6th
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry 6th

Second Part, Act I, Scene IV

Mother Jourdain, Hume, Southwell, Bolingbroke & Eleanor

Painted by John Opie, R.A.
Engraved by C.G. Playter
Finished by Thew

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.5 x 22 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.5 x 17 inches

Some foxing in margins/title area.

$350

King Henry 6th
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Henry 6th

Third Part, Act II, Scene V

A Field of Battle near Towton in Yorkshire; King Henry, son that killed his father, Father that killed his son, Quyeen, Prince of Wales, Exeter in the distance

Painted by Josiah Boydell
Engraved by J. Ogborne

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.25 x 22 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.25 x 17 inches

Dampstains lower left and upper right. Some foxing in margins/title area.

$450

The Infant Shakspeare
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

The Infant Shakspeare

Attended by Nature and The Passions

Painted by George Romney
Engraved by Benjamin Smith

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

SHEET SIZE (APPROX.): 27.25 x 22 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.25 x 17 inches

Very foxed, though only a few spots within image

$275

King Lear
(please click on thumbnail for view of entire sheet)

King Lear

Act III, Scene IV

Off, off, you lendings
Come; unbutton here.
(tearing off clothes)

Painted by B. West
President of the Royal Academy
Engraved by W. Sharp

Published 1852 by Shearjashub Spooner, New York.

FRAMED SIZE (APPROX.): 34.5 x 29.25 inches
The frame, mount/mat & glass are all museum quality!

VISIBLE SHEET SIZE WITHIN MOUNT/MAT (APPROX.): 26.5 x 21 inches

IMAGE SIZE (APPROX): 23.5 x 17.25 inches

Some foxing in margins/title area.

Theatre/Drama Antique Prints

Literature/Poetry Antique Prints