Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - May - 2015 Issue

Recently Acquired Material at The Lawbook Exchange

6c55bbd7-738a-4b74-a96a-81e087e1c105

The letter of the law.

The Lawbook Exchange has issued a catalogue containing 201 items of Recently Acquired Books, Manuscripts & Ephemera. All of these works have a legal connection, but many are not legal texts of interest primarily to lawyers. Many involve the law in the context of political issues of the day, or events like sensational trials. You won't need a law license to find items to fit your interests or collection. We will skip the more legalistic texts, like the one that covers 18th century laws about olives and olive oil, to focus on a few works with perhaps a broader appeal.

 

We start with an odd, and disturbing, broadside headed Execution of Stephen Merrill Clark, Which Took Place on Winter Island, Salem, on Thursday, May 10, 1821. It's one that may give pause to those who see the U.S. Constitution as a fixed, rather than evolving document. In 1821, the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment evidently did not apply to this case. Stephen Merrill Clark was 16 years old when he committed his crime. That crime was to burn down a barn. No one died (except, obviously, Stephen Clark). The jury recommended the legally correct sentence be commuted but the court did not listen. The young teenager was executed, death not then being deemed cruel and unusual punishment for burning down a barn. However, it did lead to pressure for reform, and three decades later, only murder remained as a capital crime in Massachusetts. Item 8. $1,850.

 

America had several of its greatest orators in the Senate during the first half of the 19th century, but none exceeded the vocal powers of Massachusetts' Daniel Webster. Perhaps his most famous quote comes from his 1830 debate with South Carolina's Robert Hayne, debating nullification and the threat of South Carolina seceding: “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” Item 43 is a copy of the Subscriber's Edition of The Works of Daniel Webster, six volumes. It was published in 1851. Webster has signed volume 1. Just in time. Webster died the following year after he fell off a horse. Item 43. $750.

 

The next is a classic, Sylvia Nuptials, by Turin law professor Giovanni Nevizzano. This is a fifth edition, published in 1540, the last edition published during the author's lifetime. It covers such issues as marriage as discussed in Roman and canon law. Professor Nevizzano had some strong views about women, modestly described by The Lawbook Exchange as “misogyny.” His generalizations about women are most unfair, though probably every man knows one woman he would unkindly describe as the bookseller has described Nevizzano's views: “In his opinion, women were enthusiastic and effective torturers of men. They were successful, he reasoned, because their bodies were created by Satan and inhabited by the souls of fallen angels.” Nevizzano had some liberal views for his day on issues such as fornication, believing it not to be a mortal sin. Evidently, the good professor did find some useful purposes for Satan's creation. The Church was unhappy and demanded he remove some offending passages in later editions. Eventually, the book ended up on the Papal Index. Item 135. $2,500.

 

Item 165 is an abolitionist book, A Escravidao, O Clero e Abolicionismo, by Luiz Anselmo Fonseca. It calls for an abolition of slavery in Brazil, citing mainly legal, but also theological sources. The book was controversial at the time, though one wonders how abolition could have still been controversial. The year was 1887, and by then, every other nation in the Western Hemisphere had abolished slavery. Brazil did the same the following year. $950.

 

Next is an instructive compendium of Jewish law, as observed in England at the turn of the 18th century. Item 45 is Discourses of the Ecclesiastical and Civil Polity of the Jews, by Isaac Abendana, published in 1709. It is a second and final edition. Abendana was a rabbi from the Sephardic community, leading the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue. He also taught Hebrew at Cambridge and was a prolific writer. He was the Jewish community's premier authority of the time. $2,000.

 

Here is a remnant from an ecclesiastical battle at a moment when England was about to embark on a major religious conversion. The title is A Vindication of the Proceedings of His Majesties Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Against the Bishop of London, And the Fellows of Magdalen-College. In 1687, King James II interfered with the election of a president for the college. The result was the Fellows were forced at accept the Catholic King's wishes to install the pro-Catholic Bishop of Oxford as President. The King was not satisfied, demanding the Fellows admit their wrongdoing in at first trying to block the appointment and then ask for his pardon. Most refused, and were replaced by Catholic Fellows. The author of this tract, Henry Care, was a Protestant, and once vehemently so, but by this time he had mellowed and become sympathetic to Catholics, writing this defense of the King's Ecclesiastical Commissioners. James won this battle, but soon lost the war. In the following year – 1688 - James would be overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, this book would be published, and Henry Care died. Item 55. $350.

 

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

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On</i>, designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, <i>Le Journal / La Traite des Blanches</i>, 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>"Let Us Go Forward Together,"</i> designer unknown, 1940. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, <i>Babylone d'Allemagne</i>, 1894. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Frank Beatty, <i>Out of the Running</i>, 1929. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Wake Up America Day</i>, 1917. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> <i>Danté / Sim • Sala • Bim!</i>, designer unknown. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>[Zodiac]</i>, 1900. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Rick Griffin, <i>Jimi Hendrix Experience / John Mayall</i>, 1968. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2: Vintage Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Abram Games, <i>Join the ATS</i>, 1941. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Aldo Mazza, <i>Torino / Esposizione Internazionale</i>, 1911. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 2:</b> Robert Motherwell, <i>Julliard School / Dedication - Lincoln Center</i>, 1969. $3,000 to $4,000
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> John Muir. <i>My First Summer in the Sierra</i>, Boston, 1911.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ernest Hemingway. <i>For Whom the Bell Tolls</i>, New York, 1940. First edition later printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Upton Sinclair. <i>The Jungle</i>, New York, 1906. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> George Orwell. <i>Nineteen Eighty-Four</i>, 1949. First American edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Harper Lee. <i>To Kill a Mocking Bird</i>, 1960. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Richard Wright. <i>Native Son</i>, New York, 1940. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Dryden, Congreve, and others. <i>Ovid’s Art of Love</i>, London, 1764. English translation of Ovid’s work.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> S. E. Hinton. <i>The Outsiders</i>, New York, 1967. First edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>The Catcher in the Rye</i>, Boston, 1951. Book club edition.
    <b>Booth & Williams: NO RESERVE Rare Book Auction, now through July 23, 7:15PM EDT</b>
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Ayn Rand. <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>, New York, 1957. Early printing.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> J. D. Salinger. <i>Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters</i> and <i>Seymour: An Introduction</i>, Boston, 1963. First [book] edition, third state.
    <b>Booth & Williams No Reserve Sale until Jul 23:</b> Tennessee Williams. <i>Sweet Bird of Youth</i>, 1959. First edition.
  • <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>
    <b>TO AKABA! T.E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. Books, manuscripts and pictures. On exhibition 16 to 24th July at Maggs' new premises 48 Bedford Square.</b>

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions