The Robert Vaughn Portrait of Ben Jonson, ca. 1622-26

Robert Vaughn, a popular engraver who worked in pre Civil-War London, executed this portrait of Jonson sometime during the early to mid 1620s. Strictly speaking, it has no direct connection with the folio of 1616 and consequently seems out of place in this catalogue. However, booksellers and collectors have for decades included this engraving in their descriptions of folios, though the image was most certainly bound into the volume at a later date. This has not kept a number of scholars from mistakenly attributing the Vaughn portrait to the first folio of 1616. The latest example of misidentification occurs in Rosalind Miles' 1986 biography of Jonson, the frontispiece of which bears the Vaughn portrait and the caption, "Engraving of Jonson by Robert Vaughn which accompanied the First Folio of his Works in 1616." Were this true it would make Vaughn a precocious child indeed, as he was in his teens at the time of the folio's printing.

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Last Modified: Friday, 24-Jun-2005 13:55:09 EDT