The First American Edition of Blackstone's Commentaries in a Superb Period-Style Binding [C] Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. Commentaries on the Laws of England. In Four Books. Re-Printed From the British Copy, Page for Page with the Last Edition. America [Philadelphia]: Robert Bell, 1771-1772. Four volumes. [viii], ii, [vi], 485; [viii], 520, xix; [viii], 455, , xxvii; [xxii], [viii], 436, vii, ,  pp. Copperplate Table Of Consanguinity and copperplate folding Table of Descents in Volume II. Folding table is a high-quality bound-in facsimile. 22-page subscriber list in Volume IV. Publisher advertisements in Volume I, 2 leaves before title page, and Volume III, p.456. Publisher advertisement, tipped-in to front endleaf, lacking from Volume IV. Octavo (9" x 5-3/4"). Handsome period style calf by Philip Dusel, with raised bands, lettering pieces and blind-stamped volume numbers to spines, blind tooling to board edges, endpapers renewed. Moderate toning, light foxing, faint dampspotting and inkspots in places, early owner signatures to preliminaries of Volumes I, III and IV, paper repair to title page of Volume II and chip to fore-edge of Leaf Q2 (pp. 125-126) in Volume IV with negligible loss to text. An appealing copy in a superb binding. $12,500. * First American edition. Blackstone's Commentaries, a synoptic review of the English legal system, is the most influential publication in the history of modern Anglo-American law. It was especially popular in America, where it was the standard introductory legal textbook into the late nineteenth century and was the primary, or only, book studied by hundreds of self-taught lawyers, such as Abraham Lincoln. The first multi-volume book printed in America, Bell's edition, a reprint of the fourth London edition, 1770, is a landmark in the history of American publishing. Our set contains the two tipped-in advertisement leaves, for An Interesting Appendix (Volume III) and Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society (Volume IV), that are often missing in copies of this set. Volume IV also includes a 22-page subscriber list of 839 men, who ordered 1,557 sets. This impressive group included John Adams, John Jay, John Dickinson, several colonial governors and many other leaders of colonial America. Sixteen subscribers were signers of the D.
Book number 68039