Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

Law and Legal History from The Lawbook Exchange

Lawbook51

The latest catalogue from The Lawbook Exchange.


By Michael Stillman

The Lawbook Exchange
has issued its Catalogue 51 of Law and Legal History -- Recent Acquisitions. The catalogue combines a small group of recent scholarly publications with a much larger number of antiquarian books. This time, there are quite a few which date back to the 16th century, as well as others which republished ancient Roman law from over a millennium earlier. These are books for those with a serious interest in the law, whether as academic or collector. However, there are a few items that may appeal to those of not quite so scholarly a bent. Here are some of the titles offered this month.

Item 21 is a second issue of the first treatise on English law, De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae (on the Laws and Customs of England). The author was Henry de Bracton (or Henrici de Bracton), and his great work was not printed during his lifetime, as de Bracton died in 1268, almost two centuries before the invention of the printing press. He was an English jurist, and his work displays the influence of older Roman law, but with its own English character. It is generally regarded as the finest English legal work of the Middle Ages. The book was first published in 1569, with this copy being the follow-up second printing of 1640. Priced at $1,500.

It's hard to comprehend how humanity could find itself less civilized 700 years later, but here is photographic proof: Justice at Nuernberg: A Pictorial Record of the Trial of the Nazi War Criminals by the International Tribunal at Nuernberg, Germany, 1945-46. Here is a chance to stare into the eyes of evil. In a forward, U.S. Chief of Counsel Robert Jackson writes, "...this collection will convey an impression of the setting for the trial that would hardly be obtainable from the printed word alone." The text is by Anne Keeshan, photographs by Charles W. Alexander. Item 64. $150.

Item 24 is The Great Rights, edited by Edmond Cahn and published in 1963. This book contains essays on the Bill of Rights by four Supreme Court justices, Chief Justice Earl Warren, and Associate Justices William O. Douglas, Hugo Black and William Brennan. This copy is signed by all four and is inscribed, "To: O. Roy Chalk." Oscar Roy Chalk (the New York Times said he detested the name "Oscar") was a flamboyant entrepreneur and financier, at one time owning the Washington transit system, New York's Spanish-language newspapers, an airline, a railroad in Central America, and a banana plantation. He once gave his wife an emerald of almost 38 carats, which they later donated to the Smithsonian. He was also a supporter of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, which perhaps explains his receiving a book signed by four justices who believed the U.S. Constitution also supported civil rights. $1,250.

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:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.

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