Philadelphia: Imprinted by the J.B, Lippincott Company, 1916. First edition. Photographically reproduced frontisportrait of Shakespeare engraved by Martin Droeshout for the First Folio of 1623; four black-and-white illustrations, including a reproduced portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, reproduced samples of Shakespeare's signature, and a reproduction of the printer's mark used by Richard Field (from the title page of the first edition of Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis (1593). Binding extremities lightly rubbed very minor soiling to boards. Pages have very minor toning to the edges. A tight, near fine copy. Tan cloth ruled in black and lettered in red. Top edge gilt and other edges uncut. Octavo. 101.  pp. Item #16327
George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932) was an American mineralogist, gemologist, Vice-President of Tiffany's, member and officer of numerous scientific societies, and author of books and articles on gems. He served as the Vice President of Tiffany & Co. in his twenties. He also led the development of the U.S. mining and mineralogical exhibits at the international expositions in Paris (1889 and 1900), Chicago (1893), Atlanta (1895), and St. Louis (1904). Kunz wrote numerous books and articles on precious stones, gems and jewelry, including a series entitled Natal Stones, Sentiments, and Superstitions connected with Precious Stones, printed each year to be given as gifts to customers of Tiffany & Co.
In the foreword Kunz writes, "As no writer has made a more beautiful and telling use of precious stones in his verse than did Shakespeare, the author believed that if these references could be gathered together for comparison and for quotation, and if this were done from authentic and early editions of the great dramatist-poet's works, it would give the literary and historical student a better understanding as to what gems were used in Shakespeare's time, and in what terms he referred to them. This has been done here, and comparisons are made with the precious stones of the present time, showing what mines were known and gems were worn in Shakespeare's day, and also something of those that were not known then, but are known at this time" (p. 7).