Early Edition of Coke on Littleton in a Handsome Binding Coke, Sir Edward [1552-1643]. The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England. Or, A Commentary Upon Littleton, Not the Name of the Author Only, But of the Law It Self. London: Printed for the Company of Stationers, 1656. [v], 395,  ff. Folding table (of descents). Lacking initial blank and portrait frontispiece. Folio (11-1/2" x 7-1/4"). Recent period-style calf, blind rules to boards, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, endpapers renewed, faint early hand-lettered title to fore-edge of text block. A few minor nicks to boards, corners lightly bumped. Title printed within woodcut architectural border. Moderate toning to text, occasional light dampstaining to margins, some offsetting and chipping to margins of preliminaries and index leaves. A nice copy in a handsome binding. $750. * Fifth edition, "corrected." Coke's Institutes, which eventually comprised four volumes, are thought to be the first textbooks on the modern common law. Taken together, they are a virtual legal encyclopedia of the law as it stood in Coke's lifetime. The first Institutes, better known as Coke on Littleton, contains the text of Sir Thomas Littleton's Tenures with extensive commentary. First published in 1628, it was a standard work for decades and was often used as a textbook. "If Bracton first began the codification of the common law, it was Coke who completed it.... In the Institutes (...) the tradition of the common law from Bracton to Littleton, whose name Coke's Commentary made famous, firmly established itself as the basis of the constitution of the Realm.": Printing and the Mind of Man 126. English Short-Title Catalogue R218002.
Book number 69603