Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata. Jean Milles De Souvigny.
Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata.
Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata.
Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata.
Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata.
An Important French Illustrated Book; The First French Code of Criminal Procedure

Praxis criminis persequendi, elegantibus aliquot figuris illustrata.

Paris: Simon de Colines apud Arnoul L'Angelier et Charles L'Angelier, 1541. First edition. With 13 full-page woodcut illustrations. A woodcut coat-of-arms on the verso of the title page, woodcut initials throughout. In contemporary, blind-stamped leather binding. Coll.: aa4 a-k8 l6 (l6 blank). Pag.: ff. [4] 85 [1]. Binding slightly worn, rubbed, corners bumped. Spine and the lower corners are damaged. Contemporary or somewhat later possessor’s inscriptions on title page (Franciscus [François] Gratier). Contemporary marginal notes in ink by a neat hand throughout. Light water stain to the margin of the last quire. H6 torn at lower margin, with no effect on print space. K5 misbound, placed before k4. Otherwise in very good condition.

First edition of the first French code of criminal procedure, illustrated with 13 fine, full-page woodcuts.

The author of the book, Jean de Milles was born in Souvigny at the end of the 15th century. He practiced as a lawyer in Toulouse, a bailiff in his hometown, the royal provost of the Châtelet of Paris, and served in various juridical offices throughout his life. Besides two legal treatises, his opus magnum is the present book, published in 1541 by Simon de Colines and considered Colines’ “most beautifully illustrated production” (Schreiber) and also as one of the most important French illustrated books of the 16th century.

In Praxis Criminis, the author circumstantially describes the course of actions of the criminal procedure through a story of an imaginary murder and the following legal procedure of the investigation, trial, and the execution of the perpetrators. The thirteen fine, superbly detailed woodcut illustrations, attributed to the Master of François de Rohan (formerly to Geoffroy Tory, Mercure Jollat, Jacquemin Woeiriot, and Oronce Finé), accurately show all the details of the story, from the assassination of a bourgeois in a public square, though the tortures to the execution of the culprits.

FB 79902; USTC 140269; Renouard, Bibliographie de S. de Colines, 1894, p. 342; Brun, Le Livre français illustré de la Renaissance, 250. Harvard, French Sixteenth Century Illustrated Books, nº 374; Schreiber « Colines », 178.

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Price: €30,000.00

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