IRELAND, Samuel (d. 1800). Miscellaneous papers and legal instruments under the hand and seal of William Shakspeare ... in the possession of Samuel Ireland. London: Cooper and Graham, for Egerton, White, Leigh and Sotheby, Robson, Faulder, and Sael, 1796. Large 2° (418 x 322mm). 26 engraved plates of facsimiles, 2 in colour, and many full-page. (A few leaves lightly spotted, faint marginal dampstain at end, small marginal mildew stain on first few leaves.) Contemporary half calf, gilt spine with red leather labels and arms of John Smith (a little worn, front board partly detached). Provenance: Sir John Smith, Bart., subscriber (binding; armorial bookplate, presumably of a descendant and namesake) -- purchased from Rosenbach, Philadelphia, 1 March 1940, $67.
SUBSCRIBER'S COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. According to William Henry Ireland's manuscript note in the following lot, Samuel Ireland destroyed all unsold copies of the folio edition, once it became known that the Shakespeare documents reproduced therein were forgeries, leaving only 96 in circulation. Others attest to 138 copies being in circulation.
MALONE, Edmond (1741-1812). An Inquiry into the authenticity of certain miscellaneous papers and legal instruments ... attributed to Shakspeare, Queen Elizabeth, and Henry, Earl of Southampton. London: H. Baldwin for T. Cadel, jun. and W. Davies, 1796. 8° (230 x 146mm). (Spotted.) Uncut. Original buff-paper-backed blue boards (some paper missing from spine); modern blue cloth solander case.
FIRST EDITION OF THE WORK THAT EXPOSED IRELAND'S SHAKESPEARE AND OTHER ELIZABETHAN DOCUMENTS AS FORGERIES. Together with 6 other works pertaining to Ireland or his forgeries, including Ireland's 1796 response to Malone; one play, Double Falsehood: or, the distressed lovers, 1728, attributed to Shakespeare; and a book of poems by W.H. Ireland. (8)