Artist: William Henry Drake (1856-1926) was an American painter and illustrator, born in New York and studied in Paris at the Académie Julien. He was a member of the ANA and was known for illustrating Rudyard Kipling's 'Jungle book'
History: The drawings were never published and according to the bookseller 'were made in the illustrator's spare time for his own amusement'
Provenance: The drawings were executed on an edition of Shakespeare, published by Constable of Westminster and Lippincott of Philadelphia. The edition is not dated and gives no editor. The title page of the 1st volume is inscribed 'Yours sincerely W. H. Drake' and the bookseller claims that the work was given by Drake as a present to one of his friends. On the death of this friend they were sold to a 'Western dealer' and then to the bookseller who apparently sold them to the Folgers. According to Mrs. Folger's files the 20 volume set was purchased from G.D. Smith Co., Nov. 1925. Smith was known to have dealt as a liaison between the Folgers and other auction companies and booksellers
The watercolor drawings have been painted directly onto the half-titles and blank margins of the text of an edition of the works of Shakespeare. The drawings depict scenes and characters throughout the works. Watercolors have been executed on approximately 1/4 of the pages and many of them are initialed 'W.H.D.'
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Portions of v.2 and v.16 also available as a digital reproduction
Also known as
Extended title: Illustrations to the works of Shakespeare [William Drake]