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. 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

  2. BOTERO, Giovanni.

    Della ragione di stato, libri dieci. Con tre libri delle cause della grandezza della città ... Di nuouo in questa...

    The second Gioliti edition of Botero’s neglected masterpiece in the history of economics, first published in 1589, bound with the first Venice edition of the Aggiunte. Of the first work, Schumpeter writes: ‘Divested of nonessentials, the “Malthusian” Principle of Population sprang fully developed...

    £2200

  3. [FULIGNATI, Giuntino (pseud.

    for Tommaso BUONI?)]. Della famosissima compagnia della lesina. Dialogo, capitoli, e ragionamenti....

    Vicenza, Giorgio Greco, 1601.

    Scarce humorous dystopia of indigence, first edition thus: the first to include a section specifically directed at women. Styled as the statutes and histories of a fictitious society, the ‘Company of Stinginess’, founded to promote thrift in an age of economic depression and scarcity, made its debut...

    £800

  4. WHEELER, John.

    A Treatise of Commerce, wherin are shewed the commodies [sic] arising by a wel ordered, and ruled trade, such as...

    Very rare first edition. With a long authorial presentation inscription on the initial blank to a fellow Merchant Adventurer:

    £33000

  5. LANDO, Giovanni Giacomo.

    Aritmetica mercantile … Nella quale si vede, come si hanno da fare li conti, per li cambi, che si fanno...

    Naples, [Alexander Gratianus for] Tarquinio Longo, 1604.

    Very rare first edition of one of the most important and comprehensive seventeenth-century works on commercial arithmetic and exchange rates in Italy and Europe. Three further editions came out within forty years, all printed in Venice, and all now scarce.

    £3250

  6. DELLA TORRE, Raffaele.

    Tractatus de cambiis.

    Genoa, Pietro Giovanni Calenzano, 1641.

    First edition of this monumental work on all aspects of the problems of exchange and bills of exchange by the Genoese politician, jurist and historian, Della Torre (1579-1667). Described by the economic historian De Roover as marking ‘l’apogée de l’école scolastique’, the Tractatus is remarkable...

    £1250

  7. SAVARY, Jean.

    La theorie et la pratique des nombres. Methodiquement proposes dans l’usage des financiers.

    Paris, [Jean Bessin] for the author, 1644.

    First edition. A rare practical mercantile arithmetic handbook for financiers and tax farmers. The work, beginning with the mathematical ‘alphabet’ of 10 numbers, covers basic arithmetic, as well as more complicated quadratic roots, rules, discounts, change and exchange, all illustrated with numerous...

    £7500

  8. THE RATES OF MERCHANDISE,

    That is to say, the Subsidy of Tonnage, Subsidy of Poundage, and the Subsidy of Woollen Clothes or Old-Drapery,...

    London, Edward Husbands and Thomas Newcomb, 1660.

    Printed descriptions of the import duties on wine and merchandise appeared in England as early as 1545. This later edition is one of the first editions after the lifetime of Charles I, who levied the duties without the authority of parliament. Printed at the instigation of the House of Commons, it was...

    £2250

  9. WAGNER, Martin.

    Idea mercaturae. Darinnen was von der Kauff-Leute Commercien, Credit und Glauben, Fallimenten oder Banckrotten,...

    [Bremen, Erhardt Berger, 1661].

    First edition, very rare, of the first dictionary solely related to business.

    £6250

  10. [BARBON, Nicholas].

    A discourse of trade. By N. B, M. D.

    London, Thomas Milbourn for the author, 1690.

    First edition of the author’s major work, in which Barbon foreshadows the ‘real’ analysis of saving, investment and interest of the Classical economists. ‘There is no bridge between Locke and the monetary interest theories of today. Instead, there was a new departure, which was to be so successful...

    £32500

  11. [ANON.]

    [Colophon: London, Andrew Bell, 1697].

    First edition, a persuasive essay arguing the economic necessity of increasing the available credit presented in the form of a letter to a friend. The author discusses the perilous state of the public finances, arguing that with specie drained by the pursuance of the Nine Years’ War (1688-1697) the...

    £3250

  12. [ROYAL LUSTRING COMPANY.]

    The Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, to whom the Petition of the Royal Lustring-Company...

    London, E. Whitlock, 1698.

    First edition; a French version appeared the same year. Since its foundation in 1688, the Royal Lustring Company (importers of ‘lustrings’ or ‘alamodes’ – a fine, light, glossy, black silk) had enjoyed special monopolistic privileges which it had exploited to the full. However, by the end...

    £850

  13. CHILD, Josiah.

    A new discourse of trade, wherein is recommended several weighty points relating to companies of merchants. The...

    London, T. Sowle, 1698.

    Third edition with this title. The work first appeared as a short pamphlet in 1668 (Brief observations concerning trade, and interest of money); this was considerably expanded in the second edition of 1690 (A discourse of the nature, use, and advantages of trade) and reprinted in 1693, 1694 and 1698...

    £700

  14. VAUBAN, Sébastien Le Prestre de (1633-1707), Marshal of France and military engineer.

    Manuscript certificate signed by Vauban...

    Paris, 26 December 1704.

    In his capacity as ‘commissaire general des fortifications de France, gouvernour de la citadelle de Lisle’, Vauban here certifies that Captain Beaufort, an engineer in the Dauphin’s regiment who had served the king well in the Dutch campaign of 1672 and then at Oudenaarde, is unfit for service...

    £1800

  15. [CLIFFORD, Jeronimy].

    The case of Jeronimy Clifford, merchant and planter of Surinam. Paper, No. 160.

    [London, n.p., 1711].

    First extended account of Clifford’s long-running legal battle with the Dutch West India Company in Surinam over Corcabo, his sugar plantation. The earlier publications had been just four pages long; this work furnishes us with plantation account details and testimonies, chronologically arranged with...

    £1250

  16. [SOUTH SEA COMPANY. ANONYMOUS].

    A letter to a member of parliament wherein the unreasonableness and improbability of binding down...

    London, n.p., 1721.

    First edition of a concise pamphlet arguing against the reduction of redeemable South Sea Company stock to £300. The author presents a strong succinct argument by contrasting the treatment of the redeemable-subscribers with that of their peers: ‘The Fourth Money-Subscriber, out of his Money which...

    £350

  17. [LAW, John].

    Extrait du registre de la Compe. des Indes aujourduy 22 feurier 1720 [and copies of other items relating to Law’s...

    [France, after 1721].

    A contemporary manuscript by an anonymous copyist reproducing some of the key documents surrounding John Law’s Mississippi system and the Visa instituted following its collapse. In just four years, Law completely transformed the French monetary system to a paper money/bank credit system and substituted...

    £1500

  18. [LONDON ASSURANCE CORPORATION.]

    By-laws, orders, and rules, for the good government of the corporation of the London assurance....

    London, n.p., 1722.

    First edition of the by-laws of the London Assurance Corporation, which, along with The Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, was constituted and granted sole rights, excepting private individuals, to the granting of assurance and bottomry by ‘The Bubble Act’ of 1720. The right to self-govern, reflected...

    £1500

  19. [MANDEVILLE, Bernard].

    The Fable of the Bees: or, private Vices, publick Benefits. With an Essay on Charity and Charity-Schools....

    London: Printed for J. Tonson … 1724.

    Third edition (according to the publisher’s reckoning), and the last lifetime edition to add new material. The poem that forms the core of this book was first published in 1705 under the title The Grumbling Hive: or Knaves Turn’d Honest. It was reprinted twice in 1714 as The Fable of the Bees [Part...

    £675

  20. RUFFO, Tommaso, Cardinal.

    Ferrara, stamperia Camerale, 1728.

    A rare document, announcing the price rates for grain and bread set by Tommaso Ruffo, Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina and Bishop of Ferrara, with tables offering prices for the years 1712-1726. The commodity rates are divided first according to the quality of the grain and then by the weight of bread loaves....

    £600