First edition of an important early modern treatise on auctions

Matthaeus, Anton. De auctionibus libri duo. Quorum prior venditiones, posterior locationes quae sub hasta fiunt exequitur. Adjecto passim voluntariarum auctionum jure.

Utrecht, Johannes van Waesberge, 1653.

4to. (8), 465, (32) pp. With woodcut printer's device on title-page. Bound in contemporary calf, spine gilt.


Scarce first edition, and a handsome copy, of this comprehensive early modern discussion of auctions, including laws governing public contracts and the sale of confiscated property. Although further editions were published posthumously, the only copy of this first edition we have traced at auction was sold in the Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana, Part III (2005). To quote their description, this is the "[f]irst edition of one of the earliest and most extensive works on auction sales in the 17th century from a legal point of view; the rules governing them, their location, the sale of confiscated merchandise, etc. Anton Matthaeus was an eminent Dutch professor of jurisprudence and criminal law at Utrecht and according to Pollard and Ehrman 'produced the most elaborate of all these treatises' on auctions'." - Matthaeus commences by defining the requisites for auctions as being: advertisement, admission to the public, and a system of bidding. In the case of stolen or confiscated property, for example, Matthaeus deals with the prickly question of whether the owner or the creditors have the upper hand and first rights to the goods on sale. He also addresses the question of under what circumstances an auction can be cancelled.

Head of spine chipped; extremities a little rubbed; otherwise a clean, fresh, and fine copy.

Dekkers, Bibliotheca Belgica Juridica 111.

Stock Code: BN#50023 Tags: ,