Bound for the engraver?
[LAW]. EX JURE CIVILI. Collection of three dissertations, divided into 52 theses presented by law students at Turin. Turin: Ignazio Soffietti, 1773. £950
FIRST EDITIONS. 8vo, containing 52 theses of between 8 and 15 pages each, divided into three sections; each thesis with an elaborate engraved headpiece and either a tailpiece or a full-page engraving, many signed ‘Constantinus’ (see below); manuscript list of contents at end; some foxing and browning in places; ownership signature of Constantin on first page and on front free endpaper; a few contemporary annotations to one thesis; in contemporary sheep, spine gilt in compartments, raised bands, skiver lettering-pieces (one with ‘Tom I’); boards and extremities somewhat worn.
An interesting collection of dissertations on civil law presented by students at the law faculty of the University of Turin.
The volume contains three dissertationes, each of which is divided up into theses, all of which are separately paginated, and which discuss the nature and division of law, the role of statue, the ways of interpreting laws, and the responsibilities and position of the judiciary. A full listing of the theses, all of which are either very rare or unrecorded, is available on request.
What makes the present volume especially interesting is its condition: the title-pages of each of the theses has been removed, so each begins with the text, under an engraved headpiece signed ‘Constantinus’ (sometimes with scul added, sometimes fec, and sometimes the date 1771). The ownership signature of Constantin on the front free endpaper and the first page of the volume suggest that this copy was bound specially for the engraver, who appears also to have been a bookseller and print dealer, and who also is credited with the engravings in Alberti di Villanova’s Nouveau dictionnaire françois-italien of 1788; it might seem that the title-pages of the individual theses were considered superfluous if what Constantin needed was a collection of his own work. Although a lettering-piece on the spine states that this is volume one, it is unknown if any further such volumes were made.
No contents seemingly recorded by OCLC.
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