William Shakespeare's second folio sold for $177,500

A rare copy of William Shakespeare's second folio (1632) has sold for $177,500 at PBA Galleries in San Francisco.

The lot was the highlight of a sale of rare book and manuscripts on February 14.

William Shakespeare second
William Aspley printed this copy of Shakespeare's second folio

Shakespeare's first folio, the first edition featuring his complete works, was published in 1632. The second edition followed nine years later.

The auction house explains: "As copies of the 1623 First Folio are of very great rarity and cost in private hands, the Second Folio is essentially the earliest obtainable printing of Shakespeare's plays.

"The present is a complete copy of the first issue of the Second Folio in the rare Aspley imprint.

"There are five variant title-page imprints of the first issue (which substitute the names and addresses of the other co-publishers for that of the principal publisher Robert Allott), of which the Aspley imprint is decidedly one of the rarest."

In 2006 a copy of the first folio sold for a world record £2.8m ($4m).

Two copies of Nature magazine featuring Watson and Crick's first papers on DNA, alongside signatures from both men, sold for $16,800.

The discovery of the structure of DNA was one of the most important scientific advances of the 20th century. Both Crick and Watson were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work.

Crick's prize was sold for $2.2m at Heritage Auctions in 2013, while Watson sold his for $4.1m last year (although it was subsequently returned to him).

We have a fascinating selection of books and manuscripts for sale, click here to take a look.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about book and manuscript auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock