SYMBOLIC DELIVERY. The delivery of some thing as a representation or sign of the delivery of some other.
Where an actual delivery of goods cannot be made, a symbolical delivery of some par ticular thing, as standing for the whole, will vest the property equally with an actual de livery; Gibson v. Stevens, 8 How. (U. S.) 399, 12 L. Ed. 1123 ; Atwell v. Miller, 6 Md. 10, 61 Am. Dec. 294 ; Vining v. Gilbreth, 39 Me. 496 ; Packard v. Dunsmore, 11 Cush. (Mass.) 282.
In 2 Poll. & Maltl. 84, symbolic delivery in the ancient German conveyance is thus described: The essence of the transaction may be that one man shall quit, and another shall take, possession of the land, but this must be done in formal fashion and before witnesses. The number and complexities of the scenes may vary in different times and tribes. All the symbols and ceremonies are not the same in any nne age or district. The two men, each with his witnesses, appear upon the land, a knife Is pro duced, a sod of turf is cut, the twig of a tree Is broken off, and the turf and twig are handed to the donee, and thus the land passes from hand to hand. The knife may also be delivered and retained by the donee. Perhaps Its point would be broken off or its blade twisted, that it may differ from other knives. But, before this, the donor has taken from his hand the war glove which would protect it in battle and the donee assumes it ; his hand -is vest ed or invested ; it la the vestita manus that will fight in defense of this land ; with it he grasps the turf and twig. All the talk about investiture and
being vested with land goes back, It is said, to this ceremony. Then the donor must solemnly forsake the land. Perhaps he is expected to leap over the encircling hedge ; or some renunciatory gesture with his fingers (curvatis digitis) is demanded of him. Maybe he will have to pass over to the donee the mysterious rod or festuca, which has great con tractual efficacy. In time some of these ceremonies could be transacted away from the land. It is not always convenient for the parties to visit the land, particularly when one of them is a dead saint. The reliquary that contains him may be taken to the field, or the field must come to the saint. The turf and twig can be hrnught with it and placed with the knife upon the shrine. The twig planted in a con vent garden or a sod from a churchyard will do, or a knife, without any sod, or a glovt, or Indeed any small thing that lies handy, for the symbolical sig nificance of those articles Is becoming obscure, and the thing deposited is now thought of as a gauge or wed (vadium), by which the donor can be con strained to deliver possession of the land.