Rare Books Blog

April 16, 2008

A hearty thanks to my Anglophile friend, Mr. Harold I. Boucher of San Francisco (LL.B. Boalt, 1930, Honorary O.B.E.), for his gift of two fine 17th-century English legal texts to the Rare Book Collection. Mr. Boucher is a longtime advocate for legal history as an integral component of law school curricula.

The gifts include Essex’s Innocency and Honour Vindicated: Or, Murther, Subornation, Perjury, and Oppression, Justly Charg’d on the Murtherers of That Noble Lord and True Patriot, Arthur (Late) Earl of Essex by Lawrence Braddon (London: Printed for the Author, 1690).The Earl of Essex had been imprisoned for plotting a revolt, and the attorney Lawrence Braddon here argues that Essex’s death was a murder and not a suicide as the authorities claimed. Braddon’s little pamphlet earned him a trial on slander charges (we also have the account of his trial), and he remained in prison until William III’s landing. Our copy includes the frontispiece, often missing, of the crime scene in the Tower of London (see below).

Mr. Boucher’s other gift is John Brydall’s Jura Coronae: His Majesties Royal Rights and Prerogatives Asserted, Against Papal Usurpations, and all other Anti-Monarchical Attempts and Practices (London: Printed for George Dawes … against Lincolns-Inn-Gate, 1680). Brydall was a conservative, monarchist barrister who published a number of legal tracts. This particular book was printed just a few steps from Wildy & Sons, Law Booksellers, where I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Boucher in person in 2002, through the good offices of Roy Heywood, Wildy’s rare book specialist.

Thanks also to Meyer Boswell Books of San Francisco for its help in arranging this special gift.

MIKE WIDENER

Rare Book Librarian

April 9, 2008

Armorial stamp, ABCNY L962 1538 flat

This armorial stamp graces the front and back covers of several tall folios from the Roman-Canon Law Collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.I have no idea what library this stamp is from, but I have a couple of clues. The binding style (stamped pigskin over boards, with rounded backs) is typically German. Several knowledgeable folks say that the initials also suggest a German library.If you can shed any light or provide any suggestions, please let me know.On my Flickr gallery, in the “Provenance Markings” set, I have posted an image that shows more of the cover and the tooling. Following are the titles bearing this stamp (click on the title to see the full record in our online catalog, MORRIS):

Luca da Penne, Lectura … Super tribus libris codicis (Lyon, 1538) [with] Martin Sanchez, Arbor dividui et  individui (s.l., 1538). (The volume shown here).

Alessandro Tartagni, In Digestum vetus lecturae [with] Lecturae in Digestum novum (Lyon, 1567).

Alessandro Tartagni, In codicem Iustinianeum commentariorum tomus primus et secundus [with] In infortiatum commentaria (Lyon,1567).

Primum volumen[-volumen xvii] tractatuum ex variis iuris interpretibus collectorum (Lyon, 1549; 18 vols. in 11).

MIKE WIDENER
Rare Book Librarian
Lillian Goldman Law Library

April 8, 2008

This rubbing is from the front cover of one of the volumes from the Roman-Canon Law Collection of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. I would be grateful if someone could help me identify this portrait and/or the coat of arms on the back cover (see below), to learn who was the book’s original owner.

The text below the portrait reads: “VIRTVTES * ANIMI * MAIESTAS / EXPLICATORIS * AVGVSTI * VVLTVS / INSPICE * NVMEN * HABENT”.

The book itself is Practica eximia atque omnium aliarum praestantissima by Giovanni Pietro Ferrari (Frankfurt: Sigmund Feyerabend, 1581). The book is bound in stamped pigskin over pasteboard, and appears to be a German binding. Additional images of the covers are in my Flickr gallery in the “Provenance” set.

Although the online resources available at the Provenance Information page provided by the Consortium of European Research Libraries didn’t answer my question, I highly recommend them for others with questions like mine.

 Thanks to Brian Mendez for the rubbings and Joanne Kittredge for the scans.

MIKE WIDENER

Rare Book Librarian

Lillian Goldman Law Library

 

 

 

 

April 3, 2008

The Lillian Goldman Law Library has a splendid rare book collection, and I am privileged to work with it. The Rare Books Blog enables me to share some of its riches with the wider world. I will post news about recent acquisitions and events. Rare book librarians like myself are always discovering interesting new things about our collections, and I will be sharing some of these. I may also enlist you, my readers, in making discoveries.

 I welcome your comments and questions.

Regards,

MIKE WIDENER
Rare Book Librarian
Lillian Goldman Law Library
Yale Law School

April 3, 2008

I presented examples from our canon and Roman law collections to the 40 students in Professor James Whitman's "Western Legal Tradition" class on March 31, 2008. The books represented many of the major genres of European legal literature from the medieval and early modern periods. They included a medieval canon law manuscript (the Clementines, 14th century); an early incunable of Justinian's Institutes (Institutiones Justiniani, Basel 1476, with an early reader's tree diagram of Roman law concepts), an early German translation of the Institutes (Frankfurt 1536, the only U.S. copy in WorldCat), Azo's famous commentary on the Code (Lectura Azonis, Paris 1581), Bartolus' Consilia, or legal opinions (Venice 1590), an early guide to court procedure (Ordo iudiciarius, Paris 1515), a potpourri of legal texts for students and practitioners (Modus legendi abbreviaturas : Tractatus iudiciorum Bartholi : tractatus renuntiationm beneficiorum in publicis instrumentis : processus Sathane : ars notariatus, Cologne 1505), and finally, a charming little study guide for law students (Repertorium Aureum, Cologne 1495), which contains a mnemonic poem to help students memorize canon law texts.

Thanks to Professor Whitman for the invitation, and to the students for their questions and interest. I had a great time, and I learned a lot as well. Highly recommended: Whitman's article, "A Note Note on the Medieval Division of the Digest," 59 Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis 269 (1991).

MIKE WIDENER
Rare Book Librarian


 

Professor James Whitman and two students from his "Western
Legal Traditions" class examine the Lectura Azonis (1581).

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