Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com

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Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, Empress Consort of Francis I, Emperor of Germany [1717-1780]. Constitutio criminalis Theresiana, oder Der Römisch-kaiserl. zu Hungarn und Böhmen [et]c. [et]c., Königl. Apost. Majestät Mariä Theresiä, Erzherzogin zu Oesterreich, [et]c. [et]c., Peinliche Gerichtsordnung.

Wien: Gedruckt bey J.T. Edlen von Trattnern,, 1769. folio. 338 x 215mm. 8 ff, 282, lvi pp. 27 engravings in the text & 3 folding engraved plates (included in pagination). Woodcut and typographic ornaments & initials. Text in German black letter with glosses in Latin. Contemporary calf, spine gilt, red edges, interesting woodblock printed pastedowns. Half-title trimmed at upper margin (probably to remove a signature, some browning in text, binding a bit rubbed but still appealing. A very good copy.
First Edition of the famous criminal code of Maria Theresa, which redefined torture as "a subsidiary means of eliciting truth". Torture could be applied to obtain confessions only in cases where condemnation would have involved capital or severe corporal punishment. A remarkable publication, including graphic illustrations of instruments and methods of torture (thumb-screws, stocks, racks, burning candles, leg vices, winches, the ‘Viennese shoe’), with detailed and precise instructions on their use. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th Edn.), this illustrated edition was suppressed by Prince Kaunitz, chancellor of state and advisor to the Empress, a few days after its appearance. Torture was formally abolished in the empire in 1776. (#kfk625) $3,000.00

 

 

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Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com