A Pack of Patentees. Opened. Shuffled. Cut. Dealt. And Played.
Type ornament device on title & a type ornament headpiece at beginning of text. 15 pp. Small 4to, polished calf (head of spine a bit chipped), signed "F. Bedford," triple gilt fillet round sides, spine gilt, a.e.g. "London, Printed in the yeare 1641." First edition of this very rare anonymous satire in verse, which criticizes monopolies and patents placed on goods such as coals, soap, starch, leather, gold wire, wine, salt, tobacco and butter. By the reign of James I, patents had become so numerous and unfairly granted that they were considered oppressive and unjust to various classes, especially tradesmen and manufacturers. King James was forced to revoke all existing monopolies (except for "novel inventions") and declare that they were only to be used for "projects of new invention." This "statute of monopolies," enacted in 1624, became the foundation for all later developments in patent law in England and elsewhere. It was a fundamental landmark in the transition of Britain's economy from the feudal to the capitalist. However, James I's successor, Charles I continued to abuse the patents system and it was only during the English Restoration that this system of abuse was curtailed. The present work, written during Charles I's reign, bitterly describes the injustices within certain trades and industries. A fine copy preserving the deckle on all lower edges. Huth bookplate (sale Sotheby's 17 July 1917, lot 5630) and the armorial bookplate of Lord Fairfax of Cameron. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5275)
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