Commentaries on the Laws of England. - William Blackstone, Esq. Solicitor General to Her Majesty

1770 - The Clarendon Press, Oxford - Fourth Edition
It Is Better That Ten Persons Escape, Than That One Innocent Suffer.

‘Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history. Until the ‘Commentaries’, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularise the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.’
Printing and the Mind of Man.

An attractive four volume quarto set [28 x 23 cm] in contemporary full calf binding. With two engraved tables, being the
Table of Consanguinity [Vol. II p.203] and the folding Table of Descents [Vol. II p.240]. 
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Price HK$ 40,000



Shanghai: its Mixed Court and Council - A. M. Kotenev

1925 - North-China Daily News & Herald, Shanghai - First Edition
A rare first edition of the most detailed work on Shanghai’s Municipal Council and Mixed Court from 1842 to 1924, the year before its demise.

Contents: Rules for the Mixed court, 1869. Rules of procedure of the International mixed court, 1914 and 1919, supplemented with provisions on general principles of the modern procedural laws of China, 1921. The provisional Criminal code of the republic of China. The provisional Criminal code amendment act.--The revised draft of the law on offences relating to morphine. The Chinese Supreme court decisions (1923). Rules for application of foreign laws (1921). Regulations relating to commerce. Copyright, 1916. The Law of publication, 1914. Rules of the Court of consuls. Land regulations and bye-laws for the Foreign settlement of Shanghai.
 
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Price HK$ 8,000



The Cuckold's Chronicle; being Select Trials for Adultery, Incest, Imbecillity, Ravishment, &c. - H. Lemoin (editor)

1793 - printed for H. Lemoin, London - First Edition
Extremely scarce two volumes (lacking plates and the title page to volume I). Over 800 pages representing ‘one of the finest examples of sensationalistic writing of the time period’ (Bearden-White).

The pinnacle of publications to satisfy the late 1700’s fascination with divorce cases - contemporary pornography. Containing a large number of trials, fascinating, and in many cases bizarre, some '
never before published', such as 'The celebrated Case and Trial of the Marquis de Gesvres, upon the complaint of his Lady, Mademoiselle de Mascranny, who, after three years Marriage, commenced a Suit against him, at Paris, for Imbecility and Impotency'; and 'The Case of John Bury, Esq. of the County of Devon, who was divorced for want of his Testicles’.

‘The 18th-century fashion for arranged marriages to secure finances and improve social and political influence, with little thought given to the personal feelings of those concerned, led to a great number of extra-marital affairs by both men and women. The reports of consequent divorce cases aroused great interest across all classes, with the trial reports becoming more sexually explicit towards the end of the century. The apogee of the development of [the criminal conversation] genre toward pornography was reached with the publication in 1793 of
The Cuckold’s Chronicle’ (Wagner). 
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Price HK$ 16,000



The Chronicles of Crime: Or, The New Newgate Calendar. Being a series of Memoirs and Anecdotes of Notorious Characters who have outraged the laws of Great Britain from the earliest period to 1841. Including a number of Curious Cases never before published. - Camden Pelham Esq. of the Inner Temple Barrister-at-Law, Phiz (illustrator)

1891 - T. Miles & Co., London
Two thick volumes finely bound by George Bayntun of Bath, illustrated throughout with forty-eight engravings from original drawings by “Phiz” (Hablot K. Browne).

Well the title tells it all, and the illustrations by “Phiz” who illustrated many of Dickens’ books are perfectly suited.
 
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Price HK$ 4,500



The Crooked Samaritan - Inscribed - Paul Trent (Pseud. of Edward Platt)

1933 - Ward, London and Melbourne - First Edition
Inscribed to the half title ‘To Llew. S. Jones, from his friend The Author, December 1933’ and signed ‘Paul Trent’ to the title page.

A fine signed and inscribed first edition of this courtroom drama in a very good example of the rare dust jacket.

Featuring Roger Welby, Barrister and gentleman romantic, who comes to the aid of his persecuted father, a lawyer who had been tempted away from his profession by the riches of the city and a life of financial schemes which finally proved his undoing. The author, Edward Platt was himself a solicitor.

Paul Trent was the pseudonym of Edward Platt (1872-1946), English solicitor, goalkeeper (made his debut for Gloucester AFC as a goalkeeper in 1889), and prolific novelist who wrote over 80 books under the pseudonyms of Paul Trent and Wilmot Kaye.
 
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Price HK$ 5,000



Ten Thousand A-Year - Samuel Warren

1889 - Little, Boston - Number 69 of a limited 200 copies
A fine and finely bound three volume set, the upper covers blocked in gilt with the crest, coat of arms and motto of ‘Tittlebat Titmouse Esq M.P. according to the description of Sir Gorgeous Tintack, Garter King at Arms.’ Volume I with sepia toned portrait frontispiece on vellum.

Samuel Warren (1807-77) was an English barrister, Member of Parliament for Midhurst, and author of a number of books both fiction and non-fiction.

Ten Thousand A-Year’ is his second novel, one of the most popular of the era and some consider the first to feature a lawyer as the main character. It concerns a firm of attorneys who discover that Tittlebat Titmouse, a poor draper's clerk, may have a claim to the large estate of Yatton. The attorneys commence an action which results in Titmouse displacing the unbelievably pious John Aubrey as the owner of the estate, and its annual income of £10,000. Titmouse revels in his new found wealth, until a new round of litigation is commenced which returns Aubrey to his place as squire of Yatton. Titmouse is disgraced, and ends his life in a lunatic asylum.

The narrator repeatedly tells the reader that the English legal system is close to perfection, but the actual workings of the law in ‘
Ten Thousand a-Year’ paint a more negative picture. Dickens seems to have read Warren's fiction and non-fiction, and to have borrowed images and ideas." [ODNB].

In addition to Warren’s knowledge of the law, he was well versed on asylum and the welfare of the mentally ill, occupying the position of ‘Master in Lunacy’ [1859-77].
 
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Price HK$ 5,200