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    "...the present publication is as much the effort of necessity, as it is of choice."

    William Blackstone. Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1765-1769.

    First edition, without the eight-page "Supplement to the First Edition" which was issued later and is usually lacking. Quarto. With the engraved tables of "Consanguinity" and "Descents" in Volume II.

    Modern full red morocco in a period-style binding, with the spines lettered in gilt on leather title labels inside compartments with five raised bands. Each board is enhanced by large diamond-shaped gilt panels decorated with fleurs-de-lis, stars, and a lion figure at center. Double blind rule with gilt floral corner pieces, and complementary inner floral dentelles. Marbled endpapers. All edges attractively speckled in deep green. Light scattered foxing and dampstaining. Previous library blind-stamp to title page of Volume IV. An exquisitely-bound set of Blackstone's Laws in near fine condition.

    "The volumes were not all issued at once, but followed one another at different times during a period of four years. They were printed at the Clarendon Press, which Blackstone, when appointed a delegate in 1755, had 'found languishing in a lazy obscurity,' and whose quickening was in no small measure due to his 'repeated conferences with the most eminent masters, in London and other places, with regard to the mechanical part of printing,' his recommendations, and to his own examples of good typography supplied in the Magna Charta, published in 1758, and in this his magnum opus" (Grolier Club: Bibliographical Notes on One Hundred Books Famous in English Literature, p. 121).

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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