Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1858. Full Leather. Good binding. Item #6819
Octavo. 8 (pub ads), , xxxiv, , 735; , 702 pp. Third edition. In contemporary calf boards with modern spines in calf; one title label is original, the other title label and both volume labels were newly stamped; the perfectly sized rear board of Volume II was married to this set at the time conservation and while it is a remarkable fit, both in size and in aging, it lacks a blind double fillet around the perimeter that decorate the original boards--nevertheless a very good match that is difficult to detect. A solid copy of what surely was a battered set before the conservation; boards show some coloring to the edges where they were once blackened and desiccated; Volume II has a tideline to the bottom corner of the textblock, occasionally visible in the margins of some leaves, but minimally intrusive when visible except to the first and final few leaves; title page and 2 subsequent leaves of this same volume have mends to the fore-edge margin where the leaves were chipped and fragile; all in all a reasonable conservation job. The contents of both volumes are clean and largely free of foxing/toning. Volume 1 has the bookplate of Strachan Bethune Batonnier of Montreal, Chancellor of the Diocese of Montreal. Volume II has an inverted name plate of D. Penrose Buckley on the rear board that was married to the set at the time of conservation.
Originally published in 1833, this is a presentable copy of the third edition of the U.S. Supreme Court Justice's most important and enduring work on the history of constitutional law in America. In his "Legal Bibliography," J. G. Marvin describes Story's credentials as its author thus, "The judicial station of the author, his opportunities for hearing constitutional questions mooted and settled, for the last quarter of a century, his habits of patient and thorough investigation, give a weight and value to Judge Story's writings upon Constitutional Law, which few similar works can claim." Further, he describes Commentaries as an essential work for the student of constitutional history, "written with great candour, and characterized by extended research, and careful examination of the vital principles upon which our government reposes" (p. 669). Copies of the first three editions of Story's Commentaries are fairly uncommon in the trade. Marvin, p 669. Howes S-1047; Sabin 92291; Oxford American National Biography.