Handsome Early Edition of Blackstone's Commentaries Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. Commentaries on the Laws of England, In Four Books. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769. Four volumes. Volume II has copperplate "Table of Consanguinity" and fold-out "Table of Descents." Quarto (11" x 8"). Contemporary speckled calf, rebacked with gilt spines and red and black lettering pieces, gilt tooling to board edges, endpapers renewed. Light rubbing and a few scuffs, nicks, scratches and stains to boards, spine ends bumped, small nick to lettering piece of Vol. IV, moderate rubbing to board edges, corners bumped, varnished and somewhat worn, rear hinge of Vol. IV just starting in middle, brief recent pencil annotations to rear pastedowns of Vols. I and IV, recent ownership signature to front free endpaper of Vol. IV. Moderate toning to interiors, occasional light foxing, light soiling in a few places, light creasing to title page of Vol. I, occasional faint dampstaining to Vols. II-IV affecting text in places without loss to legibility. A nice set. $1,750. * First edition of Volumes III and IV, second edition of Volumes I and II. The most influential publication in the history of modern Anglo-American law, the Commentaries on the Laws of England is based on a course of lectures delivered at Oxford University. Because they were not intended for aspiring practitioners, they described general principles rather than practical specifics. Sensitive to the systematizing trends of the day and the prestige of the natural sciences, he described the common law as an intricate, well-designed system akin to Newton's mechanistic universe. The first edition of Volume I was published in 1765. By the time Volume II was published Volume I had been re-published in its second edition; both were issued in 1766. (A revised Volume II was published in 1767.) Due to this publication history there are many so-called "mixed" editions today. Volumes III and IV were later revised, along with the first two volumes, for the fourth edition, 1770. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library 1, 2. Laeuchli, A Bibliographical Catalog of William Blackstone 1, 3.
Book number 73981