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Libro llamado Consulado de Mar
1539 - The code that ruled maritime law for centuries, first Spanish edition. 1539. Valencia. 4to. (8) ff., clviii ff. Early limp vellum. A fine copy of this rare book, contemporary red ink ruling around textblock and separating chapters throughout, title page a bit dusty, very minor water staining in outer margin of first few gatherings, minor corner losses to a few leaves, minor handsoiling, fol. [cvi] with contemporary inscription about the formalities of retaking a vessel captured by enemies, pencil renumbering of chapters in places. 50,000 $ Rare first Spanish (Castilian) edition (1539) of the Consulate of the Sea, the maritime legal code developed in late-medieval Barcelona to govern Mediterranean commerce, and a book considered by early Spanish and Italian explorers as a document "whose authority was above all others" (Jados, xiii). First compiled in Catalan by a certain Francis Celelles around 1350, the Consulado formed the core of international maritime law until the Napoleonic reforms of the nineteenth-century. The low survival rate of pre-1550 editions and the use of the vernacular in all early versions of the text (Palau does not locate a Latin translation) likely point to the book's value as a working reference tool among investors, merchants and seamen. The need for a Spanish-language edition of the Consulate (in addition to the Catalan version) likely grew from the increasing political and cultural hegemony of a united Spain following the unification of Castille and Aragon at the 1492 marriage of Isabella I and Ferdinand II, and from the expanding role of Spanish vessels in 16th-century global exploration. The Consulado de mar discusses legal jurisdictions; legal procedures; partnerships and shareholding; the commissioning of shipwrights; the staffing of ships (with patron, merchant, clerk, helmsman, cook, servants, etc.); responsibilities for damaged cargos; obligations to vessels in distress; procedures for jettisoning cargo; provisioning and equipping vessels; protocols for arriving at port; responsibility for vessel repairs; salvage laws; etiquette concerning passengers; divvying up the personal property of deceased passengers and sailors; the hire and discharge of sailors; matters of fees, payments, and wages; disputes between captains and sailors; enlistment and discharge; punishments for sailor theft, desertion and violence; appropriate dress and arms for sailors; the laws surrounding shipwreck; special wine shipping procedures; engagements and ransom with armed enemy vessels; the breakage of cargo aboard ships; property rights after mutiny; rules for commanding armed vessels; privateer ordinances; dividing booty; outfitting privateer vessels (with sailors, crossbowmen, lookouts, barbers, guards, ruddermen, ensigns, jolly-boat men, an attack force, grappling-hook men, admiral's guards, authenticators, carpenters, caulkers, consuls, captains, clerks, stewards, navigators, servants, etc.), and the strict requirement that cats be purchased to defend cargo from mice. The first 1484 Barcelona (Catalan) edition, the first Italian edition (Rome in 1519), and the 1577 first French edition (Aix) are each outstandingly rare today. A fine printing, title page printed in red and black with woodcut borderpieces, 9-line woodcut on title page (depicting ship in harbor and sailors on shore praying to Madonna and Child), 17-line woodcut on verso of fol. cxxxvi (twelve seated merchants or sailors or lawyers in discussion), woodcut initials throughout. OCLC identifies U.S. copies of this Spanish first edition at Yale, Harvard (imperfect), Michigan (imperfect), and Kansas (imperfect). Palau, 59333. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: HS Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-25           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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