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[BKARTS] Shakespeare manuscript at eBay

Bard's manuscript proves big draw in cyberspace bidding
Vijay Dutt
London, December 24

In a bizarre marriage of the ancient and the IT modernity, a 340-year-
old edition of William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre is soon
to be sold on the internet site eBay. The bidding has already touched
£5 million, according to The Mail.

A priceless Shakespeare manuscript would have normally attracted some
major auction house, but the dictates of modern times have overtaken
such "antiquated" methods of sale.

The offer on the internet site has been described as equivalent to
car boot sale in cyberspace. eBay is now a popular site for computer
users to clear out unwanted items and is also used as a trading
centre by books and CD collectors.

The bound, yellowing work of 20 pages is owned by a British collector
who will close the bidding at 6:53 pm on Thursday. The manuscript
formed one of seven plays in the third folio of Shakespeare's work
which was produced in 1663/1664.

The manuscript was one of only a few copies that survived the great
fire of London at a printing warehouse in 1666. The report reveals
that the work has been the subject of a bidding war involving
collectors, libraries and universities on the eBay site.

Until Tuesday night 87 bids had been received from across the world,
the highest being £4,800,300 from an American collector. Bidding got
so frenzied at one stage that part of the site crashed.

Pericles tells of a man shipwrecked with is daughter and was
published in 1608. The present seller John Ellis from Hampstead in
north-west London, told The Mail that he purchased the manuscript
from an antiquarian house in the US. He revealed that he had received
a letter from Oxford University as well, expressing an interest in
buying the manuscript. He is pleasantly amazed that bidding has
touched £5 million. He initially expected about £200,000.




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