Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - February - 2011 Issue

The Law from The Lawbook Exchange

Lawbook68

The first American edition of Blackstone's Commentaries on the latest Lawbook Exchange catalogue.

The Lawbook Exchange of Clark, New Jersey, has issued their Catalogue 68, Recently Acquired Books, Manuscripts and Ephemera. It includes both antiquarian and recent publications. We will focus on the old. There is a mix of more technical, legalistic if you will, writings with those of greater common appeal. We will mention some of each as we take a look inside this latest catalogue.

 

Two and a half centuries after it was published this work remains the most important legal text in the history of the English-speaking world. Item 9 is a first edition of Commentaries on the Laws of England, In Four Books, published 1765-69. William Blackstone's work is better known simply as Blackstone's Commentaries. The Lawbook Exchange notes that even through the 19th century, this was the source of learning for most of America's self-taught lawyers, such as Abraham Lincoln. The Commentaries provided an overall picture of the operation of the law, rather than being a user's guide, to help those in the field understand its fundamental principles. Such is essential when there is no clearly on target case law on which to rely. This set includes the rare Supplement to the First Edition (1766), which contains additions that would be incorporated in the second edition of volume 1. Priced at $12,000.

 

Item 10 is a first edition, first issue of the American edition of the same. This was published in Philadelphia in 1771-72. This set is pictured on the cover of the catalogue. $17,500.

 

Item 4 is a set of legal rules for what is essentially an illegal activity:  Reglamento Provisional de Corso:  A Provisional Ordinance to Regulate Privateering. Privateering is essentially legalized piracy, used at times by governments to augment their naval power. This code was adopted in 1817 for mariners providing their services to the United Provinces of South America, later known as Argentina. Argentina was then fighting Spain for its independence and lacked a navy to combat that of Spain. The fact that these rules were printed in English as well as Spanish is indicative of the participation of American mariners in this legalized form of piracy on behalf of Argentina. This is not surprising as many American mariners had patrolled the seas in this fashion on behalf of their own nation a few years earlier during the War of 1812. At that time, America similarly suffered from a lack of a navy capable of balancing that of the British. In this ordinance, Argentina sets out humanitarian regulations which privateers acting on their behalf must follow, including prohibitions against cruelty and indiscriminate violence. $1,500.

 

Item 62 is a typescript from Hannibal E. Hamlin of the State of Maine vs. Alice F. Cooper. This Alice Cooper was a female housekeeper, not a male rock star, while this Hannibal Hamlin was a regular lawyer, not Lincoln's Vice-President (however, he was the son of Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin). Seems this Alice Cooper was rocking and rolling with a young man who was apprenticed to her blacksmith husband. Then one day the young man told her he had found a lady his own age, which apparently did not sit well with Miss Alice. Two days later, the young man was shot to death in her chair. Alice claimed it was suicide. The prosecution presented contrary evidence, such as the angle of the gunshot wound coming from the top of his head, that she had purchased the gun the day before, and that she had sewn a pocket in her dress to hide it. Nevertheless, The Lawbook Exchange noted, "unbelievably, she was a acquitted." $750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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