Skip to main content
Shakespeare & Beyond

Folger Finds: A carved oak casket for holding a Shakespeare First Folio

Carved oak casket

Casket, carved in an Elizabethan style [realia] 1866.

Imagine buying a book and having the queen of England give you a special case in which to store it! That’s what happened after wealthy heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts purchased a Shakespeare First Folio in 1864: Queen Victoria gave her a carved casket made from Herne’s Oak, a tree at Windsor that had been felled by a storm in 1863. The oak was associated with Shakespeare’s character Falstaff and The Merry Wives of Windsor. The casket itself was carved by William Perry in 1866.