— Copyright Dorothy Sloan 2013 —
Author’s Copy of a Seminal Mexican Law Treatise
In a Fine Mexican Binding
480. PEÑA Y PEÑA, José Manuel de la. Lecciones de práctica forence mejicana: escritas a beneficio de la Academia Nacional de Derecho Publico y Privado de Méjico por Manuel de la Peña y Peña.... Mexico: Imprenta a cargo de Juan Ojeda, C. de las escalerillas N. 2, 1835, 1836, 1839. Vol. I: [i-v] vi-xix [1, blank],  2-536  pp. Vol. II: [1-7] 8-612 pp. Vol. III: [1-5] 6-419 [1, blank] pp. 3 vols. (of 4), 8vo (20.2 x 13.7 cm), full contemporary purple Mexican sheep extra gilt, spines gilt-lettered and elaborately tooled, upper and lower covers with central panels decorated in gilt with an abstract radiating starburst design, surrounded by borders with extravagant gilt rolls in leaf and vine design, edges and dentelles gilt-rolled, cream satin endpapers, a.e.g., original gold silk bookmarks present. Spines faded to tan, light shelf wear, very minor foxing to a few leaves (mainly confined to preliminary and terminal leaves), else fine, in an unusual Mexican binding. With author’s contemporary bookplate printed on blue paper. Blind stamp on title pages of Crispiniano del Castillo (1802-1888), attorney, representative, and later Minister of Justice and Public Instruction under Santa Anna.
First edition. Not in Palau or Sabin. Bancroft, Mexico, Vol. I, lxxxix (Authorities Quoted). Sutro, p. 707 (with only 82 pp. of Vol. I). Institutional holdings of the set are not uncommon and generally consist of only three volumes. According to a statement on pp. 416-417 of Vol. III, there was supposed to be added to this work a treatise on foreigners, which is usually wanting and was intended to be Vol. IV. In many instances among institutional holdings Vol. IV is defective, e.g., the British Library (wanting all after p. 200), Columbia (lacks all after p. 301), University of Michigan Law Library (lacking all after p. 100), et al. The set is rare in commerce.
This is a fundamental legal text meant to provide guidance to practitioners of Mexican law, particularly civil procedure and courts in Mexico. Peña y Peña notes that the lack of such a text is impeding Mexican justice. The work was written with the sponsorship and support of the National Academy of law, of which he was president at the time. Peña y Peña (1789-1850), Mexican politician and lawyer, served as interim president of Mexico from September 26, 1847, to November 13, 1847, and president from January 8, 1848, to June 3, 1848. A well-known lawyer, he served almost continuously on the Mexican Supreme Court after its creation in 1824. He is best remembered as president of Mexico when the Treaty of Guadalupe of Hidalgo was enacted, which he himself signed. He also wrote several important treatises relating to Texas, the Mexican-American War, and the Borderlands during particularly tumultuous times.
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