Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio worth up to £2 million to go up for auction

Copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio worth up to £2 million to go up for auction (Sotheby’s/PA)
Copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio worth up to £2 million to go up for auction (Sotheby’s/PA)

An original copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio worth up to 2.5 million dollars (£2 million) is set to go under the hammer next month.

The book, which was printed almost 400 years ago, is one of under 20 left in private hands, according to auction house Sotheby’s

Curated by the world-famous writer’s trusted colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell, the folio comprises 36 plays, half of which had never before been printed.

No contemporary manuscripts of Shakespeare’s manuscripts survive and so, without the First Folio it is possible that 18 works, including Macbeth, The Tempest and Twelfth Night, may have been lost to history.

The book, which was printed almost 400 years ago, is one of under 20 left in private hands, according to auction house Sotheby’s (Sotheby’s/PA)

Heminges and Condell’s division of the plays into categories such as “comedies”, “tragedies” and “histories” still shape modern interpretations today.

The copy will be on display in Sotheby’s London galleries until June 15, before going up for auction in New York on July 7, where it is estimated to fetch between 1.5 – 2.5 million dollars (£1.1-2 million).

Sotheby’s London will also host a talk – Hip-hop vs Shakespeare – on June 9, which invites guest speakers George the Poet and Howard Jacobson to debate which form of cultural expression best resonates with audiences.

According to Sotheby’s, the edition may be the only copy to have early Scottish provenance. If so, in addition to being an important source text, this would also make it a fascinating historical relic.

The folio is missing its famous frontispiece page with Shakespeare’s image, which may have been removed or stolen over the years to be framed as a portrait.