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. 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

  2. [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

  3. SMITH, Adam.

    Investigacion de la Naturaleza y Causas de la Riqueza de las Naciones.

    Valladolid, ‘En la Oficina de la Viuda é Hijos de Santander, 1794.

    First edition in Spanish. Despite the defects mentioned above a very good unsophisticated copy of the first edition in Spanish of The Wealth of Nations. It was translated by Josef Alfonso Ortiz from the fifth edition of 1789 (although curiously Ortiz cites the as-yet-unpublished 1796 eighth edition),...

    £22500

  4. BUQUOY, Georg Franz August de Longueval, Freiherr von Vaux, Graf von.

    Die Theorie der Nationalwirthschaft nach einem neuen Plane...

    Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1815.

    First edition of all four parts of this very rare early work of mathematical economics. In a letter to Léon Walras of 28 June 1883, Carl Menger, after thanking Walras for sending him a copy of Théorie mathématique de la richesse sociale, encloses a select list of his own making of seven key mathematical-economic...

    £12500

  5. SMITH, Adam.

    Undersøgelse om National-Verstands Natur og Aarsag … Af det Engelske oversat og med nogle Anmærkninger oplyst...

    Copenhagen, Gyldendal, 1779–80.

    First edition in Danish of the Wealth of Nations, published together with a translation of Thomas Pownall’s critical Letter … to Adam Smith (1776). The translation was prepared from the 1776 first edition by Frants Draebye. Smith acknowledged it in two letters of 1780, the first to Andreas Holt,...

    £11500

  6. SMITH, Adam.

    Untersuchung der Natur und Ursachen von Nationalreichthümern. Aus dem Englischen …

    Leipzig, Weidmann’s heirs and Reich, 1776–1778.

    First edition in German, the rare first issue, and the first translation into any language, of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This landmark translation, by Johann Friedrich Schiller, cousin of the famous poet, and Christian August Wichmann, was reissued in 1792 with...

    £10000

  7. [VERRI, Pietro.]

    Il Caffè ossia brevi e varii discorsi già distribuiti in fogli periodici.

    Brescia, Giammaria Rizzardi, 1765-1766.

    First edition of this important Italian periodical. ‘Questo interessantissimo giornale letterario publicato sul modello dello Spettatore Inglese è compreso in quattro semestri, ed incominciossi a stampare nel maggio del 1764’ (Melzi). The society was founded by Pietro Verri to stimulate and encourage...

    £8500

  8. [ORTES, Giammaria.]

    Errori popolari intorno all’ economia nazionale, considerati sulle presenti controversie fra i laici e i...

    [No place, no printer,] 1771.

    Very rare first edition of Ortes’ first work, written in defence of the clergy. ‘A Venetian monk, Ortes left his cloister on the entreaties of his mother after his father’s death, but remained in holy orders and was ever a strenuous defender of the clergy ... Ortes is undoubtedly the most eminent...

    £8000

  9. 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

  10. LE TROSNE, Guillaume-François.

    La Liberté du Commerce des Grains toujours utile & jamais nuisible …

    Paris, 1765.

    An important and interesting assemblage of scarce pamphlets on corn, including Le Trosne’s defence of free trade, described by Schumpeter as a ‘meritorious performance’ (p. 225) and Baudeau’s Lettres (see item 13), first published in the Ephémérides du Citoyen of February 1767.

    £6500

  11. 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

  12. MIRABEAU, Victor de Riquetti, Marquis de.

    Les Économiques. Par L[‘Ami] D[es] H[ommes].

    Amsterdam and Paris, Lacombe, 1769.

    Very rare first quarto edition of parts one and two, also issued in 12mo. A further volume of two additional parts was published in 1771. Mirabeau, who seems to have taken the title of this work from the Économiques of Xenophon, here gives various methods of economic instruction for the different levels...

    £5750

  13. WALRAS, Léon.

    Théorie critique de l’impot …

    Paris, Guillaumin et Cie, 1861.

    First and only edition of Walras’ second published book on economics and an important early testimonial to his profound admiration for, and intellectual identification with, his father. In the lengthy preface, he reviews the ideas contained in the works of Auguste Walras, including the concept of ‘rarety’...

    £5750

  14. CAPPELLO, Pier Andrea (also CAPELLO).

    Nuovo trattato del modo di regolare la moneta.

    Venice, Lorenzo Baseggio, 1752.

    Very scarce first edition. Cappello’s work seeks to deduce the general principles regulating supply and demand by studying the relative circulation of gold and silver across twelve international markets. He offers the empirical basis of his study in fourteen tables which provide exhaustive details...

    £5000

  15. SMITH, Adam.

    The Works of Adam Smith … With an account of his life and writings by Dugald Stewart … in five volumes.

    London: printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies … 1812 (vols 1-3), 1811 (vols 4-5).

    First edition of the collected works, including The Theory of Moral Sentiments, An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Considerations Concerning the Formation of Languages and Essays on Philosophical Subjects. The account of Smith’s life by Dugald Stewart, another leading light...

    £5000

  16. [FUOCO, Francesco]. DE WELZ, Giuseppe.

    La Magia del credito svelata. Istituzione fondamentale di pubblica utilità da Giuseppe...

    Naples, Stamperia francese, 1824.

    First edition, presentation copy; the sheets were re-issued under the title Principii fondamentali di economia pubblica e di finanze in 1840 (see Kress Italian 1055).

    £4750

  17. Nine

    pamphlets dating from 1739 and 1740 concerned with the war with Spain, the South Sea Company and the sugar trade in the British...

    i). The consequences of his majesty’s journey to Hanover, at this critical juncture. Considered in a letter from a Member of Parliament in town to a noble Duke in the country: to which is added, the Duke of A---l’s speech upon the state of the nation: with the reply to it, by Lord ******. London,...

    £3500

  18. [SERRES, Jean de].

    Gouvernement politique et economique. Tome premier [- troisieme].

    Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1766.

    First and only edition, rare, of a little-studied work on politics and economics attributed to the president of the Chambre des Comptes of Montpellier. The Avis tells us that the author had completed his work by 1759. By the beginning of the printing he had modified his original manuscript in two chapters:...

    £3500

  19. GASSER, Simon Peter.

    Einleitung zu den Oeconomischen Politischen und Cameral-Wissenschaften, worrinen für dieses mal die Oeconomico-Cameralia...

    Halle, Wäysenhaus, 1729.

    First edition. Simon Peter Gasser (1676–1745) was appointed by Friedrich Wilhelm I to the first chair of economy to be founded in Prussia, at the University of Halle in 1727, where Gasser had until then been a lecturer in law. The present work, an introduction to the science of cameralism, and dedicated...

    £3250

  20. [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