Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2020 Issue

Western Nations' Law from The Lawbook Exchange

The law, America, Great Britain and Europe.

The Lawbook Exchange has issued a catalogue of Books, Manuscripts, Broadsides and Pamphlets on Law and Related Fields. America, Great Britain & Europe 16th to 20th Centuries. One of the nice things about lengthy titles is they can describe what is in a catalogue without need for further explanation. This title covers what is to be found in this selection completely. We might add that the law books in here are both of the technical sort, of interest to legal scholars, and those that were prepared for the rabble, such as accounts of sensational trials. Whatever your interest in the law, there is a good chance you will find it here. These are a few of the less technical works.


If you think the picture on the cover of this catalogue looks like an old style, you are right. It comes from an edition of the Constitutiones Clementinae of Pope Clement V. It is a codification of canon law issued by Clement V. Not even this book is as old as the issuance of this statement as it came in 1314. Clement V died shortly thereafter, leaving some doubt as to their legitimacy, but that was cleared up when they were reissued by his successor, John XXII. This edition was printed in 1482, before artists knew much about perspective. It came from the press of Anton Koberger of Nuremberg. Item 24. Priced at $12,500.


Extreme religious views can lead to unpleasantness in Salem, Massachusetts, as some supposed “witches” could attest. This one came much later. George Barrell Cheever was a new Congregationalist minister in town is 1833. He was of intense moral views. It made him a fierce supporter of abolitionism and temperance. He also had less than complimentary views on the theology of the Unitarian Church, a powerful force in Salem. John Stone was a deacon in that rival church whose primary occupation was running a distillery that had been in the family for three generations. Cheever attacked, with an illustrated broadside and newspaper article. It depicted a “Deacon Giles” in a most unfortunate manner, as a greedy, advocate of the Devil and other such unflattering attributes. It didn't take the townfolk much time to identify who “Deacon Giles “ was, Unitarian Deacon Stone. They were outraged. Rev. Cheever was tried for libel and convicted. He was fined $1,000, an enormous sum of money in those days, horsewhipped, and sentenced to 30 days in jail. This pamphlet was written by one of Stone's defenders, Charles W. Upham, The Charge of Ignorance and Misrepresentation Proved Against the Rev. George B. Cheever. Cheever later moved to New York where he continued to carry on his attacks on slavery and alcohol. Item 121. $750.


If you think Rev. Cheever must have let it go after that humiliating verdict, you are underestimating his determination. He continued to have his broadside published for many more years. Here is one from 1865-1867, printed by the National Temperance Society and Publication House, in New York. It is headed Deacon Giles's Distillery. The large image depicts a distillery being run by several devil-looking creatures with barrels labeled “Deacon Giles Distiller” and “N. E. (New England) Rum.” A business office to the side has a sign reading “Deacon Giles's Counting Room Bibles For Sale” to reinforce Cheever's claim that Stone loved money. Item 20. $1,500.


I always thought that the guillotine was an original invention of French physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin. It turns out similar devices were employed for several centuries before Dr. Guillotin appeared. One such device was the “Maiden” which was employed in Scotland from 1565-1710. It consisted of a heavily weighted blade which, when set loose, slid down some grooves in its sideboards and struck the neck of the condemned. Sounds very much like the guillotine. It is illustrated in this much later account of the device (1870), History of the “Maiden” or Scottish Beheading Machine, With Notices of the Criminals Who Suffered by It, by William Thompson M'Culloch. Item 66. $750.


Here is a book with an interesting provenance. The title is Remarks on the Constitution and Practice of Courts Martial... by Thomas Frederick Simmons, published in 1852 (a fourth edition). It was the standard British work on courts martial at the time. This copy was owned by J. E. B. Stuart. Stuart was an officer in the U. S. Army, promoted to Captain shortly before tendering his resignation in May 1861. He joined the Confederate Army, rising to general and having a storied career. Penciled into this copy is “J. E. B. Stuart. 1st Cavalry.” That would date it to 1855-1861. Could Stuart have been concerned that this might be his fate if he supported the Confederacy? He never had to worry about it, but for the wrong reason. Stuart was killed in action in 1864. Item 96. $3,500.


The Lawbook Exchange describes this book as being “an early form of consumer protection.” The title is The Tradesman's Lawyer and Country-Man's Friend. There is no stated author or editor, but it was taken from various historic legal treatises. The purpose was to protect regular folks, the “tradesman” and “countrey-man,” from being victims of the wealthy, whose privilege allowed them to be learned in the law. The book is designed to help balance the scales of knowledge and justice. The author explains, “As for the Persons of higher Rank they have both Learning and Leisure to read the Law; but for the Commonalty and ordinary Tradesman most are wanting in the first, many cannot obtain the latter, and some are strangers to both...” It sets them up to be “put upon by cunning Men, who contrive to prey upon their ignorance.” This is a first edition, published in 1703. Item 53. $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

  • Jeschke Jadi
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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 546. Christoph Jacob Trew. Plantae selectae, 1750-1773.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 70. Thomas Murner. Die Narren beschwerung. 1558.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 621. Michael Bernhard Valentini. Museum Museorum, 1714.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 545. Sander Reichenbachia. Orchids illustrated and described, 1888-1894.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1018. Marinetti, Boccioni, Pratella Futurism - Comprehensive collection of 35 Futurist manifestos, some of them exceptionally rare. 1909-1933.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 634. August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof. 3 Original Drawings, around 1740.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
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    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 671. Jacob / Picasso. Chronique des Temps, 1956.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1260. Mary Webb. Sarn. 1948. Lucie Weill Art Deco Binding.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 508. Felix Bonfils. 108 large-format photographs of Syria and Palestine.
    Jeschke Jadi
    Auction 151
    Saturday, April 27, 2024
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 967. Dante Aligheri and Salvador Dali. Divina Commedia, 1963.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1316. Tolouse-Lautrec. Dessinateur. Duhayon binding, 1948.
    Jeschke Jádi, Apr. 27: Lot 1303. Regards sur Paris. Braque, Picasso, Masson, 1962.
  • Doyle, May 1: Thomas Jefferson expresses fears of "a war of extermination" in Saint-Dominigue. $40,000 to $60,000.
    Doyle, May 1: An exceptional presentation copy of Fitzgerald's last book, in the first issue dust jacket. $25,000 to $35,000.
    Doyle, May 1: The rare first signed edition of Dorian Gray. $15,000 to $25,000.
    Doyle, May 1: The Prayer Book of Jehan Bernachier. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Doyle, May 1: Van Dyck's Icones Principum Virorum Doctorum. $10,000 to $15,000.
    Doyle, May 1: The magnificent Cranach Hamlet in the deluxe binding by Dõrfner. $7,000 to $10,000.
    Doyle, May 1: A remarkable unpublished manuscript of a voyage to South America in 1759-1764. $3,000 to $5,000.
    Doyle, May 1: Bouchette's monumental and rare wall map of Lower Canada. $12,000 to $18,000.
    Doyle, May 1: An rare original 1837 abolitionist woodblock. $8,000 to $12,000.
    Doyle, May 1: An important manuscript breviary in Middle Dutch. $15,000 to $25,000.
    Doyle, May 1: An extraordinary Old Testament manuscript, circa 1250. $20,000 to $30,000.
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: McCarthy (Cormac). Cities of the Plain, N.Y., 1998, First Edn., signed on hf. title; together with Uncorrected Proof and Uncorrected Advance Reading Copies, both signed by the Author. €800 to €1,000.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Stanihurst (Richard). De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis, Libri Quattuor, sm. 4to Antwerp (Christi. Plantium) 1584. First Edn. €525 to €750.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Fleischer (Nat.) Jack Dempsey The Idol of Fistiana, An Intimate Narrative, N.Y., 1929, First Edn. Signed on f.e.p. by Rocky Marciano. €400 to €600.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Smith - Classical Atlas, Lond., 1820. Bound with, Smiths New General Atlas .. Principal Empires, Kingdoms, & States throughout the World, Lond. 1822. €350 to €500.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Rare Auction Catalogues – 1856: Bindon Blood, of Ennis, Co. Clare: Sotheby & Wilkinson. €320 to €450.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Mavor (Wm.)] A General Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Discovery of America to the Commencement of the Nineteenth Century, 28 vols. (complete) Lond., 1810. €300 to €400.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Mc Carthy (Cormac). Outer Dark, N.Y. (Random House)1968, Signed by Mc Carthy. €250 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Three signed works by Ted Huges - Wodwo, 1967; Crow from the Life and Songs of the Crow, 1970; and Tales from Ovid, 1997. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: The Garden. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Horticulture in all its Branches, 7 vols. lg. 4to Lond. 1877-1880. With 127 colored plates. €200 to €300.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Rare Book & Collectors Sale
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    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: Procter (Richard A.) Saturn and its System: Containing Discussions of The Motion (Real and Apparent)…, Lond. 1865. First Edn. €160 to €220.
    Fonsie Mealy, Apr. 24: [Ashe] St. George, Lord Bishop of Clogher, A Sermon Preached to the Protestants of Ireland, now in London,... Oct. 23, 1712, London 1712. Second Edn. €130 to €180.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Modern First Editions
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    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Piccolomini's De La Sfera del Mondo (The Sphere of the World), 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Vellutello's Commentary on Petrarch, With Map, 1525.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Finely Bound Definitive, Illustrated Edition of I Promessi Sposi, 1840.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Rare First Edition of John Milton's Latin Correspondence, 1674.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: Giolito's Edition of Boccaccio's The Decamerone, with Bedford Binding, 1542.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of the First Biography of Marie of the Incarnation, with Rare Portrait, 1677.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Aldine Edition of Volume One of Cicero's Orationes, 1540.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Bonanni's Illustrated Costume Catalogue, with Complete Plates, 1711.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Important Incunable, the First Italian Edition of Josephus's De Bello Judaico, 1480.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: First Edition of Jacques Philippe d'Orville's Illustrated Book of the Ruins of Sicily, 1764.
    Leland Little, Apr. 26: An Incunable from 1487, The Contemplative Life, with Early Manuscript.
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