Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - January - 2014 Issue

Thirty Works for The Lawbook Exchange's 30th Anniversary

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30 years and 75 catalogues.

The Lawbook Exchange has published Catalogue 75. Celebrating Thirty Years 1983-2013. We will guess the fact the catalogue contains 30 items is not mere coincidence. This is not a typical Lawbook Exchange catalogue with many niche legal treatises mixed with sensational cases in publications meant for the common man. These 30 are a mix of books, artworks, manuscripts, and ephemera, with many very early legal tracts, printed as early as the beginning of the 16th century, but often dating back to much earlier manuscript versions. These early works were generally written in Latin, and that not being a language understood by this writer, we will focus on some of the books and ephemera written in living languages for this review. Here are some samples.

 

The greatest legal document in English history, the one that first established rights of the King's subjects, can only be the Magna Carta. Of course, there were no printing presses around in 1215 to whip off copies of this important document. It would be almost 250 more years before such was even possible. In reality, it would be even longer, into the 16th century, before Richard Pynson first printed a copy around 1508. Item 19 is another 16th century edition of the Magna Carta, the first to be published by Richard Tottell. Tottell had been apprenticed to a legal publisher around 1540, and went into business on his own a decade later. Tottell a few years later obtained a seven-year license to be the official printer of the common law, which was later renewed for another seven years, and then for life. After he died in 1593, the printing of such legal documents was opened to everyone. Tottell's Magna Carta also includes several other statutes adopted at various times in England. Priced at $6,500.

 

Before even the Magna Carta, there were laws, and soon enough someone would have to come up with a legal textbook. The first was written anonymously but attributed to Ranulf de Glanville. Glanville was a close advisor to Henry II and he played an important role in developing England's legal system. His work, which focuses more on procedures than case law, was completed around 1189. It was finally printed almost four centuries later, circa 1554, also by Richard Tottell. Item 11 is a copy of this first edition of Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae, Tempore Regis Henrici Secundi Compositus... $15,000.

 

Item 17 is another Tottell work published during his official license period, in 1583. It is Les Tenures du Monsieur Littleton, Sir Thomas Littleton's Tenures, in an edition edited by William West. This work, first published in 1481, is described by The Lawbook Exchange as “probably the most revered treatise in the history of the common law.” Coke went a bit further saying it is “the Ornament of the Common Law, and the most perfect and absolute work that was ever written in any humane science.” Much of it focuses on tenures and other issues relating to real property, and it is noted for renouncing the principles of Roman law and updating them with the common law. $12,500.

 

Here is a work of great importance to America's most fundamental governing document: Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States; with a Preliminary Review of the Constitutional History of the Colonies and States, Before the Adoption of the Constitution. The three-volume set was produced by Joseph Story, who served as a Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court for 34 years. The first two volumes are the “preliminary review,” covering first the colonies and their charters, and then the Continental Congress and the Articles of Confederation. The third volume provides his detailed, line-by-line commentaries on the Constitution. The Lawbook Exchange describes Justice Story's Commentaries as “the most substantial and influential work written on the American Constitution before the Civil War.” Item 25 is a first edition, published in 1833. $12,500.

 

Spain's monarchs may have been referred to as “His Most Catholic Majesty,” but that doesn't mean there was no competition between Crown and Church for power in Spain's extensive American colonies. Item 10 is De Regio Patronatu... two volumes from 1677-1679. It was written by Peruvian jurist Pedro Frasso. Frasso provides a legal analysis that takes the side of the Crown. $5,000.

 

The Lawbook Exchange may be reached at 732-382-1800 or law@lawbookexchange.com. Their website is www.lawbookexchange.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • 20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Full scale vintage <i>Sputnik-1</i> EMC/EMI Lab Model, with live transmitter. US$ 10,000-15,000
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    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown on SOYUZ 9<br>An exhaustive manuscript on life in space. [Trans: On-Board Flight Journal for Spacecraft Soyuz-9, 1970]. US$ 6,000-9,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> SOYUZ 18? Flown Navigation Celestial Globe. Soyuz 18 lasted from May 24-July 26, 1975. US$ 30,000-40,000
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    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Space Suit from ISS Expidition 6. Worn by Flight Engineer Don Pettit on his dramitic return to earth. US$ 25,000-35,000
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    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Lunar Rover Development. Collection of 11 vintage gelatin silver prints and 4 vintage NASA lithographs. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000.
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    20 Jul 2016, starts at 1pm EDT, NY
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Michael Collins' Flown Crew-Signed Apollo 11 Emblem. One of the very few Armstrong signed mission artifacts. US$ 50,000-70,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Flown Apollo 11 Navigational Chart. Taken to Lunar surface mapping the start of the <br>first manned lunar descent. <br>US$ 25,000-35,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> FFlown Apollo 11 Flight Plan Sheetmission Day One. Some of the first words and data values written by Neil Armstrong. US$ 18,000-25,000
    <b>Bonhams Jul 20: </b> Apollo 12 - Alan Bean in the Ocean of Storms. Signed and inscribed by Bean. <br>US$ 2,000-3,000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>The Chap Book</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec,<br><i>Troupe de Mlle Églantine</i>, 1896.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Philippe Henri Noyer, <br><i>Limonade Brault</i>, 1938. <br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br><i>The Great Men of the World</i>,<br>designer unknown, circa 1945-46. <br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>James Montgomery Flagg,<br><i>Wake Up, America!</i>, 1917.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Alfred F. Burke, <i>Share / Jewish <br>Relief Campaign</i>, circa 1915.<br>$3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b><br>Ludwig Hohlwein, <i>Marke Pkz / <br>Burger - Kehl & Co.</i>, circa 1911. <br>$8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 3:</b> <br>Gian Emilio Malerba,<i> E.A. Mele / Modo e Novita per Signora</i>, circa 1900. $7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> KEY, FRANCIS SCOTT. <i>A Celebrated Patriotic Song, the Star Spangled Banner.</i> 1814.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> [COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER, Amerigo Vespucci ..] Bernardus Albingaunensis .. Dialogo nuperrime edito Genue in 1512.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies,</i> 1632.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (WATKINS, TABER &c.). <i>An album of 32 photographs of the Yosemite and American West Various places</i>, c. 1890s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BATTLE OF CONCORD.) <i>Powder horn used by Minuteman Oliver Buttrick at the Battle of Concord</i>, April 19, 1775.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (CIVIL WAR.) <i>An Extraordinary Confederate Photograph and Autograph Album of Dr. R. L. C. White</i>, 125 original mounted salt prints. 1859-61.

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