ST MICHAEL OVERSEES LEGAL THESES

Patrui optimi patrono. Theses utriusque juris. Ex materia sortito ducta ... Has theses ex utroque jure ... praeside cl. v. D. Philippo Lalourcey, J.U.D. consult. facult. Paris. aggregato ... tueri conabitur [blank left for name] die Lunae 14 Februarii, anno Dom. 1757 ab undecima ad primam. Aderunt cum jure sufragii sorte ducti clar. D.D. Aleaume, Desfévres, J. Girard, Boyer, Lalourcey, Deferriere. Parisiis, in antiquo juris auditorio. Pro baccalaureatu.

[Paris], apud Petrum-Augustinum-Paulus-Du-Mesnil, ex typographia Ballard, [1757].

Broadside (746 x 520 mm), large engraving of St Michael at head (338 x 296 mm, ‘Rabon invenit Malbouré ex.’) below which 48 lines of letterpress text; vertical and horizontal creases from folding, a few small tears to folds and blank margins, a little foxing, small marks to blank verso; overall good.

£550

Approximately:
US $667€650

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Patrui optimi patrono. Theses utriusque juris. Ex materia sortito ducta ... Has theses ex utroque jure ... praeside cl. v. D. Philippo Lalourcey, J.U.D. consult. facult. Paris. aggregato ... tueri conabitur [blank left for name] die Lunae 14 Februarii, anno Dom. 1757 ab undecima ad primam. Aderunt cum jure sufragii sorte ducti clar. D.D. Aleaume, Desfévres, J. Girard, Boyer, Lalourcey, Deferriere. Parisiis, in antiquo juris auditorio. Pro baccalaureatu.

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An unrecorded broadside detailing nine theses in canon law and nine in civil law defended at the law faculty in Paris on 14 February 1757 for the degree of Bachelor of Laws, with a remarkable headpiece depicting St Michael.

The canonical theses deal with the office and powers of judge delegates appointed by the Pope, while the civil theses concern codicils to wills, the final one asserting that they cannot be made by the mad. They were defended before Philippe Lalourcey, who would later serve three terms as dean of the law faculty, in 1768, 1773 and 1776. A space has been left for the name of the candidate to be entered by hand, unfortunately too faint to make out here.

The extraordinary headpiece shows St Michael the archangel trampling Satan and the rebel angels, engraved by a member of the Malbouré family, who specialised in theses, after a painting by Rabon. This broadside is not recorded in George Péries’s La faculté de droit dans l’ancienne Université de Paris (1160-1793) (1890), which describes several others. Remarking on their rarity, Péries writes: ‘Everything, in fact, contributed to facilitating their disappearance: a sheet of paper is so easily crumpled, mislaid, soiled! The precious engravings, which one could appreciate more, were detached by clumsy collectors from texts that mattered little to them ... This is a most regrettable fact since the collecting of many items of this nature would have been very instructive from the point of view of the history of teaching’ (p. 270 trans.).

No copies traced on OCLC or CCfr.

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