Manuscript dictionary of legal precedents. [England, 17th century.] In legal French, 255 leaves recto and verso, 4to, in brown ink, written space 197 x 118 mm within red-ruled border, headlines and foliation in red, and approx. 500 decorated initials in red, green and/or brown, many incorporating people, ships, birds and other animals. Period blind-stamped calf. Minor browning, a little dampstain at end, endleaves chipped, neatly rebacked with original spine laid down, corners repaired.
Provenance: Neat ownership inscriptions dated 1869 and 1923; Christie's, Jun 20, 1990, lot 41, to Quaritch.
RICHLY DECORATED 17TH CENTURY LEGAL DICTIONARY, with a wide variety of piquant imagery: snails, owls, goats, swans, keys, books, a cityscape, rabbits, foxes, a country house, a man blowing out a candle, etc.
The initial Q on f 197r depicts a woman feeding a chicken and contains a quotation from Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost: "Fat paunches have lean pates and dainty bits make rich ye ribs, but bankrupt quite ye wits."