contract of pledge:
2. Civil law. A real contract by which a debtor gives a creditor property to hold as security for a debt or the performance of a promise. * The contract is also called a pawn, when the property is movable, and an antichresis, when the property is immovable. See (in sense 2) PAWN; ANTICHRESIS. Cf. pignorative contract. 
Excerpt from Henry Denis’s A Treatise on the Law of the Contract of Pledge as Governed by Both the Common Law and the Civil Law (1898):
“[A] pledge is a personal security in the Common law, while it is a real security in the Civil law. Hence, the contract of pledge is a personal contract in the Common law, and a real contract in the Civil law.” 
Excerpt from Leonard A. Jones’ A Treatise on the Law of Collateral Securities and Pledges (Edward M. White ed., 3d ed. 1912):
“The contract of pledge is in general a contract wholly implied in law. No written contract is necessary, and generally none is made. if there be a written contract, it is generally made either to show that the transaction is a pledge and not a sale, or to provide a special mode for enforcing the lien. A mortgage under the registry laws must necessarily be made by a written transfer, while a pledge, though it may be constituted in writing, is ordinarily made by delivery of the property without any writing, the contract of the parties being wholly implied in law. A delivery of property as security for a debt without a written conveyance cannot be a mortgage, but must be a pledge.” 
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: Henry Denis, A Treatise on the Law of the Contract of Pledge as Governed by Both the Common Law and the Civil Law 1 (1898).
: Leonard A. Jones, A Treatise on the Law of Collateral Securities and Pledges 8 (Edward M. White ed., 3d ed. 1912).
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