Human Sciences

Contact Barbara Scalvini or Jonathan Harrison

Human Sciences at Quaritch embraces a wide range of books and manuscripts documenting the history of ideas from the earliest times up to about 1960. Our strengths are in the history of economic thought and in philosophy, but we also deal in law; finance and banking (including speculation, actuarial science and insurance); politics and political theory; sociology; psychology; agriculture; education; logic; and the theory of language.

Some notable items which have recently passed through our hands include the only known copy of the Communist Manifesto inscribed by Karl Marx, Rudolf Carnap’s annotated copy of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung), Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Confusion de Confusiones (1688, the first book to describe the practice of a stock-exchange) and a copy of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (4th edition, 1786), inscribed in Smith's own hand to Bonnie Prince Charlie's private secretary.

As well as dealing in individual books and manuscripts, we also offer collections. In recent years we have sold author collections of Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Thorstein Veblen, Emile Durkheim and Jeremy Bentham. Among subject collections we have offered are the Herwood Library of accounting literature (including Pacioli's Summa de Arithmetica, 1494, the first printed exposition of double-entry book-keeping); the philosophy of language; texts pertaining to the theory and study of language in the West, and the history of probability - the calculus of probabilities, statistics and their applications.

  1. TARTAGNIS, Alexander de.

    Lectura super prima parte Infortiati cum apostilis.

    [Venice, Arrivabene, 6 Mar. 1490; 3 Jan. 1492].

    One of the few extant copies of an incunable edition of Alexander de Tartagnis’ lectures on this section of the Corpus Iustiniani; it was the third appearance in print of this text, and the first full-length edition, following a first appearance in 1485 and a second in 1489-90. Part I...

    £4000

  2. [CIVIL LAW.]

    COMMENTARY, in Latin; a complete paper leaf, double columns of 61 lines, the words commented on written in a large...

    Much of the commentary is concerned with legal transactions and gives instructions about how to produce a valid legal document, such as putting the name of the reigning emperor at the start of the text. The commentary also discusses the different professions and occupations such as head of state, judge,...

    £250

  3. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    Momus [or De principe].

    Rome, Jacopo Mazochi, 1520.

    First edition of this political and social satire by the great Renaissance architect, theorist, scholar and man of letters, Leon Battista Alberti. There were two editions published in Rome in 1520, one (the present) by Jacopo Mazochi, the other by Étienne Guillery. Both carry papal privileges,...

    £4600

  4. (a). GOULET, Robert.

    Compendium recenter editum de multiplici Parisiensis Universitatis magnificentia, dignitate, et excellentia,...

    Paris, Toussaint Denis, 1517.

    First edition of the first account of the University of Paris, ‘probably the earliest monograph on any university’ – E. P. Goldschmidt.

    £12500

  5. [MELANCHTHON, Philipp]. LAGUS, Konrad.

    Oratio de Platone.

    Wittenberg, [J. Klug], 1538.

    Only edition, exceedingly rare (one copy only in the US), of the main extant source for Melanchthon’s views on Plato. ‘Melanchthon’s view of Plato is known primarily from a Latin speech, which he asked Conrad Lagus to deliver’ (Hartfelder).

    £5000

  6. PSEUDO-HEGESIPPUS.

    De rebus a Iudaeoru[m] principibus in obsidione fortiter gestis, deq[ue] excidio Hierosolymorum, aliarumq[ue]...

    Cologne, Jaspar Gennepaeus, 1544.

    An early edition of this popular Latin account of the Jewish War of 66-73 AD, with a dedication by Philipp Melanchthon. The text borrows heavily from the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and is attributed in extant manuscripts either to Hegesippus –...

    £650

  7. VERGIL, Polydore.

    Anglicae historiae libri vigintisex.

    Basel, Michael Isingrin, 1546.

    Second edition, much revised, of Vergil’s English History, dedicated to Henry VIII. It is seen as the beginning of modern English historiography, as an important piece of propaganda for the Tudor monarchy, and as an influence on Shakespeare’s history plays.

    £4400

  8. AEMYLIUS, Paulus (Paolo EMILIO).

    Historici clarissimi de rebus gestis Francorum…

    Paris, Michel Vascosan, 1550.

    Early editions of the three classical complementary chronicles of France from the fifth to the mid-sixteenth century, often issued and bound together.

    £750

  9. PLATO.

    Divini Platonis operum a Marsilio Ficino tralatorum tomus primus [-quintus].

    Lyons, Jean de Tournes, 1550.

    The only de Tournes edition of Plato’s corpus, rare. The Latin text is that of Marsilio Ficino, the first complete translation of Plato’s work into a Western language, and ‘the best translation of that author Italy can boast’ (Enc. Brit.), which the translator discussed with the best philologists...

    £2200

  10. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...

    Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.

    First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8 pp. Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  11. RAMUS, Petrus.

    P. Rami ... Oratio de legatione.

    Paris, Andreas Wechel, 1557.

    First (?) edition: a fascinating pamphlet marking a critical epoch in the history of the University of Paris and the first occasion on which Ramus came into prominence as champion of his University and of higher education in general.

    £800

  12. RAMUS, Petrus.

    Harangue ... touchant ce qu'ont faict les deputez de l’Université de Paris envers le Roy. Mise de Latin en Francois.

    Paris, Andreas Wechel, 1557.

    First French-language edition of the above, issued simultaneously with the Latin text and presumably translated by Ramus himself. Apart from La Dialectique, this is one of Ramus’ very few works in the vernacular. Very rare.

    £950

  13. VENUSTI, Antonio Maria.

    Compendio utilissimo di quelle cose, le quali a nobili e christiani mercanti appartengono.

    Milan, Giovan Antonio degli Antonij, 1561.

    First edition, containing Discorso d’intorno alla Mercantia and Trattato del Cambio di Lione o di Bisenzone and Trattato de’ Cambi, and including the Italian translation of Saravia de la Calle’s Institutione de’ Mercanti.

    £2000

  14. GROUCHY, Nicolas de.

    Praeceptiones dialecticae, Nicolao Gruchio Rotomagensi authore. Disputatio eiusdem, quid de nomine dialectices...

    Paris, Gabriel Buon, 1563.

    Grouchy’s abstract of his lectures on logic and Aristotelian dialectic. Grouchy spent 12 years in Bordeaux (1535-47) as professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Guyenne (the top class was called “Classe de Rhétorique”), and his book became part of the Collège’s published syllabus for the two-year...

    £1400

  15. DOLCE, Lodovico.

    Somma della filosofia a’Aristotele, e prima della dialettica. [with:] Somma di tutta la natural filosofia di...

    Venice, Giovanni Battista, & Marchio Sessa, & fratelli, [1565].

    First edition of this exposition of Aristotle’s dialaectics, moral, and natural philosophy by ‘one of the major transmitters of culture in cinquecento Italy’ (Ronnie H. Terpening, Lodovico Dolce: Renaissance Man of Letters, 1997).

    £5500

  16. POMPONAZZI, Pietro.

    Opera.

    [Basel, Henricus Petri, 1567].

    Rare first edition of Pomponazzi’s essay On fate, free will, and predestination (De fato… libri V), published posthumously in this collective edition prepared by his pupil Gulielmus Gratarol. Gratarol’s editions of Pomponazzi’s writings were instrumental in divulging the thought of one of the...

    £7500

  17. SEXTUS EMPIRICUS.

    Adversus mathematicos, Hoc est, adversus eos qui profitentur disciplinas ... Graecè nunquam, Latinè nunc primùm...

    Paris, Martin Le Jeune, 1569.

    First collected edition of Sextus Empiricus (fl. AD 200), the only sceptic philosopher of antiquity whose works have survived. It includes his two major works, the Pyrrhonian Hypotyposes (or Outlines of Pyrrhonism), which had appeared in 1562 and the Adversus mathematicos (or Against the Professors)...

    £3750

  18. DIOGENES LAERTIUS.

    [Greek title] De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X. (Edited by Henri...

    [Geneva], Henri Estienne, 1570.

    First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, “in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne. The volume also contains 36 pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne and 3 pages of notes...

    £1400

  19. ROSIÈRES, François de.

    Six livres des politiques, contentants l’origine et estat des cités, condition des personnes, economie,...

    Rheims, Jean de Foigny, 1574.

    First edition. A rare treatise on government, society and economy, written during the French Wars of Religion by the archdeacon of Toule. Rosières enjoyed the patronage of Charles, the Guise cardinal of Lorraine, to whom this book is dedicated. In 1580 he published Stemmatum Lotharingiae ac Barri ducum...

    £4500

  20. THELOALL, Simon.

    Le digest des briefes originals, et des choses concernants eux.

    London, Richard Tottell, 1579.

    First edition, scarce, of Theloall’s early work on writs, a remarkable copy, intensively annotated by a single contemporary owner evidently versed in the Common Law.

    £7000