[alexander Hamilton] Croke's Reports 1791-93 • W/ A. Hamilton’s Signature
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[alexander Hamilton] Croke's Reports 1791-93 • W/ A. Hamilton’s Signature :
George Croke: Reports of Sir George Croke, Knight, Formerly One of the Justices of the Courts of King’s-Bench and Common-Pleas, of such Select Cases as were Adjudged in the said Courts during the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Collected and written in French by Himself; Revised and Published in English, by Sir Harbottle Grimston, Baronet, Master of the Rolls. The Fifth Edition, corrected, with Marginal Notes and References to the Later Reports, and other Books of Authority, by Thomas Leach, Esq. of the Middle Temple, Barrister at Law. Dublin: Printed for E. Lynch, P. Wogan [et al], 1791-93. Three volumes, large 8vo (24 cm), in early/period full calf, gilt-lettered contrasting spine labels; each housed in a cloth clamshell case within a morocco box. ESTC N13507.
Each volume bearing the ownership signature of “A. Hamilton.” While not accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, it seems more than probable that these books are from the library of ALEXANDER HAMILTON (1755(?)-1804), Founding Father, co-author of The Federalist, co-architect of the Constitution of the United States, founder of the first American political party, first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and the subject of an astonishingly popular Broadway musical. A previous owner clearly had little doubt as to the books’ provenance, commissioning custom morocco solander slipcases from the prestigious New York bookbinding firm of Stikeman & Co. (signed on the leather slip-ins), each slipcase bearing the words “Alexander Hamilton’s Copy” stamped in gilt on the spine. The ownership signatures seem to be well within the realm of Hamiltonian plausibility. Most of Hamilton’s surviving signatures take the form of “A. Hamilton” and, while the crossing of the capital “A” in two of the signatures here lacks the “loop” we found in several examples of his signature online, it is in fact present in the third signature. It also should be noted that this loop wasn’t always present in Hamilton’s “A’s” (e.g. his signature on the Constitution). The books can definitely be placed in the United States by the mid-nineteenth century, as the other signature found in each volume is that of Congressman William G. Whiteley, who served as representative for Delaware from 1857-1860. Additionally, the books bear the bookplates of a W. M’Caulley, dated 1855.
Sir George Croke (1560-1642) was a judge and legal scholar whose Reports, a selection of cases heard while he was a judge, constitutes “one of the most significant collections of law cases covering the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I” (DNB). Bindings professionally rebacked and repaired, some tenderness to the text block of vol. I; slipcases with some rubbing to the extremities, cracking to a couple of the joints, a few light stains, else clean and sound.PLEASE BE AWARE that Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, Nov. 1, so these sales may END AN HOUR EARLIER than originally scheduled. Follow our sales this week and next for an eclectic mix of OLD, RARE and/or OTHERWISE DESIRABLE BOOKS, including LITERATURE, HISTORY, AMERICANA, &c., &c. Feel free to email with any questions before offerding. INTERNATIONAL buyers: ’s shipping calculator occasionally overstates shipping costs, so feel free to contact us directly for a shipping quote. Reduced shipping on additional items won. Insurance extra, if desired. We accept payment methods other than Paypal, by prior arrangement. Many thanks.