Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - April - 2013 Issue

Books, Manuscripts and Ephemera from The Lawbook Exchange

Lawbook73

Legal books, manuscripts, and ephemera.

The Lawbook Exchange has issued Catalogue 73. Recently Acquired Books, Manuscripts and Ephemera. This one covers seven centuries of the law. Printed works range from five items of incunabula, mostly focusing on church rather than civil law, to material from the 20th century. Manuscripts include 18th and 19th century account books from lawyers, judges, and civil authorities. Finally, there is a section of artworks, primarily printed images of various courtroom and other law-related scenes. This last group is framed and ready for hanging on a wall. Some are serious, but many contain humorous images. These are some of the works you will find in this most recent Lawbook catalogue.

The first item in this catalogue is an important defense of America's legal institutions from the days before the establishment of its constitutional government: A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America. This is the three-volume first edition published in London 1787-1788 by America's Minister to Great Britain and future President, John Adams. In response to foreign criticism, Adams set out a spirited defense of the republican governments in the various states, including the concept of separation of powers and bicameral legislatures. Originally intended to be just one volume, Adams expanded to add two more in 1788. Adams' work became a major influence on America's constitutional convention as they set up the rules under which the federal government has operated for all of these years since then. Due to their separate publishing, complete sets of Adams' Defence are not easy to find. Priced at $22,500.

A century later, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., published one of the most important works on American law: The Common Law, published in 1881. Holmes was still in private practice at the time, but the following year he was appointed to the highest court in Massachusetts, where he served for 20 years, followed by 30 years serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. Holmes argued against the prevailing view that the law was like scientific principles, something unchanging to be deduced by thoroughly studying its wording. He considered it an evolving series of principles as much deduced from practical experience as applying to it. Item 50. $650.

From legal highs we go to legal lows, the scandalous trials that the 99% of the population not so interested in legal theories would rather read about. Item 77 is No Church Without a Bishop, Or, A Peep into the Sanctuary. This is Alonzo Potter's account of the ecclesiastical trial of New York's Episcopal Bishop Benjamin Onderdonk in 1845. Onderdonk was accused of being a bit too familiar with some of his female parishioners. Specifically, he was charged with fondling several ladies who testified against him. Onderdonk, who was involved in theological debates of the day, denied the charges and claimed they were brought by those opposed to his theological views. Whatever the truth was, and it is still debated today, the charges certainly made for an interesting trial. One of the claims stated, “The bishop accepted the challenge, if such was intended, and again inserted his hand into her bosom, this time very low down, and with the palm inward, and toyed with his handful in a way which, Miss Jane naively says, it is out of her power to describe.” Perhaps that was because he had supernatural powers (or maybe she was just making it up). A split decision ended up with Bishop Onderdonk being suspended from his post, but not relieved of his title as Bishop, which he held in suspension the remainder of his life. $450.

Item 88 is an account of two libel trials from the turn of the 19th century: Report Of The Case John Dorrance Against Arthur Fenner...[and] the Case of Arthur Fenner vs. John Dorrance... Dorrance was a Common Pleas Court Judge in Rhode Island in 1801, while Fenner was the state's Governor. They were also political rivals, which may have been the impetus for Governor Fenner to make his charges against Dorrance. The body of a suicide victim had been turned over to Judge Dorrance for proper burial. Fenner charged that instead of burying the victim, Dorrance sold his body for medical practice in return for a beaver hat. Dorrance, he charged, even “had the impudence to wear” the hat while serving as Town Moderator. The body was missing from the grave, but according to a 1992 book on medical grave robbers by Suzanne M. Schultz, there was absolutely no evidence that Dorrance knew or approved of the grave robbing, nor did he receive a beaver hat for the corpse. It didn't matter. Fenner was successful in having Dorrance defeated for reelection, and the juries found, at least in part, for Fenner. This case throws light on an ugly practice – grave robbing – that was widespread at the time as there was an insufficient supply of bodies to fill the needs of medical students. $650.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Athanasius. <i>Illustrium Virorum Opuscula,</i> Paris, 1500. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English,</i> Rheims, John Fogny, 1582. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stith, William. <i>The First History of Virginia printed in America,</i> [Williamsburg, 1747]. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b><br>S. Bonaventure. <i>Commentarius in Secundum Librum Sententiarum Petri Lombardi,</i> Venice, 1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Juvenalis, Junii. <i>Satyrae,</i> with the commentary of Domitius Calderinus, Venice, 1475. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Horatius Flaccus, Quintus. <i>Opera.</i> Ed. with commentary of Christophorus Landinus, Florence, 1482. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Scotus, Duns. <i>Quaestiones in Quattuor Libros Sententiarum,</i> 1476-1477. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Polidori, John. <i>The Vampyre, A Tale,</i> Paris, 1819. $1,000 to $2,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin,</i> Vol. I and II, 1852, and a Later Edition, 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>iGavel Auctions<br>Antiquarian and Other Books<br>September 14 – October 12</b>
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> Book of Hours, Illuminated Vellum, Calendar of Months, 15th century. $600 to $900.
    <b>iGavel Auctions, Sep. 14 – Oct. 12:</b> <i>Picturesque,</i> America, Europe, Palestine, and Russia, 1872-1885. $400 to $600.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> C.F. Payne, <i>Micawber—Imitating Norman Rockwell's "Triple self-portrait,"</i> acrylic, watercolor & colored pencil, 2002. Sold June 2021 for $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Jane Russell, archive of letters written during a whaling voyage, 1840s. Sold July 2021 for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Guild of Women Binders, exhibition binding of A.F. Pollard’s <i>Henry VIII,</i> London, 1902. Sold July 2021 for $12,350.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Robert Frost, <i>Collected Poems,</i> author’s presentation copy, signed, with entirety of <i>Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening</i> inscribed, NY, 1930. Sold June 2021 for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> James Joyce, <i>Ulysses,</i> deluxe limited issue, signed, London, 1936. Sold June 2021 for $21,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Mercator [family], <i>[World and Continents],</i> 5 double-page maps, Amsterdam, c. 1633. Sold June 2021 for $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Schlegel, <i>New York, Taken from Central Park,</i> hand-finished color-tinted lithograph, 1874. Sold June 2021 for $11,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolaus Copernicus, <i>De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium,</i> second edition, Basel, 1566. Sold April 2021 for $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, illuminated manuscript, c. 1435-45. Sold April 2021 for $60,000.
  • <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Bible, English. The Holy Bible, Second Folio edition, the "Great She Bible", engraved More-Speed 1611 map of Canaan, Robert Barker, 1613-11. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Galilei (Galileo). <i>Opere,</i> 2 vol., first collected edition, Bologna, Heirs of Dozza for Carlo Manolessi, 1656-1655. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Venetian choirbook.- Single leaf from a 13th century Venetian antiphonal, with large decorated initial, manuscript on vellum, Venice, [c.1260]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Petrarca (Francesco). <i>Rerum vulrgarium fragmenta,</i> decorated manuscript on paper, Italy, [second half of the 15th century]. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> New York School of abstract expressionists.- Abbott (Mary Lee). [Sketch book of original artwork], [New York], 1945. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Contemporary colouring.- Nitzschewitz (Hermannus). <i>Novum beatae Mariaevirginis psalterium,</i> Zinna, Press of the Cistercian Monastery, 1493. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Montemayor (Jorge de). Diana of George of Montemayor: translated out of Spanish into English by Bartholomew Yong, first edition in English, B[ishop]., 1598. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Milton (John). Poems of Mr. John Milton, Both English and Latin, Compos'd at several times, first edition, state with "S" in "S. Pauls" in imprint, 1645. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>The Power and the Glory,</i> first edition, 1940. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b><center>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>& Works on Paper<br>30th September 2021</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Crowley (Aleister). View of the Tyrrhenian Sea, probably from the hill behind the abbey of Thelema, Cefalù, Sicily, charcoal, [1921]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 30:</b> China.- Thomson (John). <i>Illustrations of China and Its People,</i> 4 vol., first edition, 96 photographic plates, 1873-74. £15,000 to £20,000.

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