Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Page 1


Los Angeles County Law Library to Auction Books From 17th, 18th Centuries


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Los Angeles County Law Library tomorrow night will be raising funds by auctioning off rare volumes from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Bidding will take place at the library’s Beacon of Justice Gala, honoring Court of Appeal Justice Audrey B. Collins, a former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The event will take place, starting at 5:30 p.m., at the Mildred Lillie Building, at First Street and Broadway, in the Civic Center.

The library’s executive director, Sandra Levin, announced yesterday:

“Dating from the early 17th Century, these intriguing and beautiful volumes have been stored in a climate-controlled facility within the Library and are not normally available even for viewing, let alone purchase.”

The volume with the highest minimum bid—$4,000—is The Administration of the Colonies (the fourth edition) wherein their Rights and Constitution are Discussed and Stated, by Thomas Pownall (1767).

Levin said, in an email sent to friends of the library:

“This book was one of the most influential books on the American colonies written before the Revolution.  Pownall had a distinguished career as an enlightened colonial administrator, and served as governor of several British American colonies.  He also gave serious consideration to the business of governing the colonies, writing the present work on his return from North America.  Pownall felt that imperial form was necessary, arguing that the colonies would only be bound to Britain by a sound and equitable economic balance.” 

Other books that will be available, along with descriptions of them, are:

Causes Celebres et Interessantes Avec Les Jugemens Qui Les Ont Decidees Recueillies, by Mr. Gayot de Pitavel (1737-45), a 22-volume set, in French, containing “a rare compilation of ‘famous and interesting’ cases with an emphasis on things like adultery, bigamy, infanticide, abduction and illicit love. Minimum bid: $1800.

De Mari Libero, by Hugo Grotius (1633), a “beautiful tiny book,” in Latin, on maritime law. Minimum bid: $700.

The Letters of Junius (1806), “a collection of private and open letters critical of the government of King George III from the anonymous author known as ‘Junius,’ as well as other letters in reply from people to whom Junius had written between 1769 and 1772.” Minimum bid: $150.

Molinaei’s Opera (1681), a 5-volume set by French jurist Charles Dumoulin, in Latin. “His remarkable erudition and breadth of knowledge had a considerable effect on the subsequent development of French law.” Minimum bid: $800.

Symboleography: Which May be Termed the Art, or Description, of Instruments and Precedents (Parts 1 & 2), first collected by William West of the Inner Temple, Esq. (1647), which “has been called the ‘first comprehensive collection of legal forms and precedents to be published in England.’ ” Minimum bid:  $800.

Law Quibbles or a Treatise of the Evasions, Tricks, Turns & Quibbles Commonly Used in the Profession of the Law, to the Prejudice of Clients and Others (1724), offering “advice, in alphabetical order, with concise examples and citations, followed by an essay on the laws of England with suggestions for reform.” Minimum bid: $400

Decus & Tutamen: Or a Prospect on the Laws of England…To Which are added, Peculiar Notes upon the Judgment in High Treason, by John Brydall (1679), “relating the laws for the safety of the crown, with particular notes upon the subject of treason.” Minimum bid: $300.

Cottoni posthuma: Diverse Choice Pieces of that Renowned Antiquary Sir Robert Cotton, Knight and Baronet, Preserved from the Injury of Time, and Exposed to Public Light, for the Benefit of Posterity, by James Howell, Esq. (1672), “a critical commentary on the political developments of the second and third decades of the seventeenth century.” Minimum bid: $200.

Tickets to the event, which are available through the library’s website, are priced at $300 each except for judicial officers, librarians, government employees, attorneys in practice for five years or less, and  employees of non-profit, public interest charities, who are charged $75.


Copyright 2017, Metropolitan News Company