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. 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

  2. [GREENE, Asa.]

    The perils of Pearl Street, including a taste of the dangers of Wall Street, by a late merchant.

    New York, Betts & Anstice and Peter Hill, 1834.

    First edition of a very early Wall Street novella, the fictional tale of Billy Hazard, an innocent carpenter’s son from rural New York state determined to make it as a merchant in the city. Billy’s attempts to establish himself in the mercantile trade in New York City are ultimately unsuccessful...

    £5500

  3. 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

  4. [GREENE, Asa.]

    The perils of Pearl Street, including a taste of the dangers of Wall Street, by a late merchant.

    New York, Betts & Anstice and Peter Hill, 1834.

    First edition of a very early Wall Street novella, the fictional tale of Billy Hazard, an innocent carpenter’s son from rural New York state determined to make it as a merchant in the city. Billy’s attempts to establish himself in the mercantile trade in New York City are ultimately unsuccessful...

    £4500

  5. [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

  6. [GREAT BRITAIN: PARLIAMENT].

    [Drop-head title:] ‘An act for repealing the several duties of customs and excise, and granting...

    London, Charles Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1787.

    Rare first edition of the consolidation act that revolutionised British handling of customs and excise and the problem of smuggling, in line with Adam Smith’s 1776 recommendations.

    £2750

  7. HOGARTH, William.

    [South Sea Scheme].

    Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill, [1751].

    Sixth state of eight, the first dated to 1721, of this fine satirical Hogarth print. ‘Hogarth’s satire concerns speculation of all kinds, his implication being that when the crowd loses itself in speculation all the ordinarily hidden evils emerge to operate unmolested. In the manner of Pope’s ‘Epilogue...

    £2500

  8. STEELE, Richard.

    [Eight works by and relating to him].

    London, 1715-1720.

    A splendid collection of pamphlets by and relating to Sir Richard Steele (1672-1729), army officer, playwright, theatre manager, essayist, editor of the Tatler, Spectator and Guardian, Whig MP and propagandist, covering many facets of his diverse career. This volume belonged to Sir Thomas Clarke, a protegé...

    £2500

  9. FOSTER, John Leslie.

    An essay on the principle of commercial exchanges, and more particularly of the exchange between Great Britain...

    London, J. Hatchard, 1804.

    First edition of a contemporary response to the Irish Currency Report of 1804 written by the Irish-born judge John L. Foster. The 1804 Irish Currency Report was a direct precursor to the more famous Bullion Report of 1810. Indeed, the former ‘…contains a large part of the doctrine later incorporated...

    £2250

  10. [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

  11. [LAW, John.]

    Abbildung des auf der Strasse Quincampoix in Paris entstandenen so berühmten Actien-Handel. Excudit C. Weigel nach...

    [1720.]

    This engraving is a German version of ‘Rue Quinquempoix en l'Année 1720’(BM Catalogue 1655). It gives a view, in angular perspective, of the Rue Quinquempoix, Paris, with crowds of persons assembled there during the share mania of the Mississippi, South Sea, and other schemes which bubbled in the...

    £1250

  12. 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

  13. JUGLAR, Clément.

    Des crises commerciales et de leur retour périodique en France, en Angleterre et aux Etats-Unis …

    Paris, Guillaumin, 1889.

    Second edition, greatly enlarged, of the book that laid the foundation of modern business cycle analysis. First published in 1862, Les crises commerciales is the principal work of a man whom Schumpeter says ‘must be ranked, as to talent and command of scientific method, among the greatest economists...

    £950

  14. [RICARDO, David.]

    Report from the select committee on the usury laws.

    London, Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 1818.

    First edition of the report from the select committee ‘appointed to consider the effects of the laws which regulate or restrain the interest of money, and to report their opinion thereupon to the House…’ (p. 3). The question of the Usury Laws had first been raised in the house of commons by Brougham...

    £950

  15. [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

  16. HOGARTH, William.

    [South Sea Scheme].

    [London], [n.p.], [after 1751].

    Final state of eight, the first dated to 1721, of this fine satirical Hogarth print. ‘Hogarth’s satire concerns speculation of all kinds, his implication being that when the crowd loses itself in speculation all the ordinarily hidden evils emerge to operate unmolested. In the manner of Pope’s ‘Epilogue...

    £750

  17. HOGARTH, William.

    The lottery.

    [London], [n.p.], [after 1751].

    Ninth state of nine, the first dated to 1724, of this fine Hogarth engraving satirising the Lottery. The allegory of the print is explained by the caption:

    £750

  18. RICARDO, David (1772-1823), political economist.

    Manuscript address panel to ‘Mr. Mitchell Vote Office House of Commons’ signed...

    Brighton, 23 July 1820.

    The present address panel undoubtedly stems from a request for documents by Ricardo mentioned in a letter to John Ramsay McCulloch, of 2 August 1820, in which Ricardo writes as follows: ‘I have been for sometime in this place [Brighton] enjoying the sea breezes ... The papers which I moved for respecting...

    £750

  19. [LAW, John]. WOOD, John Philip

    The antient and modern State of the Parish of Cramond. To which are added, biographical and genealogical...

    Edinburgh, John Paterson, 1794.

    First edition. The Antient and modern State of the Parish of Cramond has the distinction of not only preserving much local information which might otherwise have been lost, but is also one of the earliest genealogical and biographical accounts of the life and fortunes of John Law, Comptroller-General...

    £750

  20. [MILL, John Stuart, witness].

    Report from the Select Committee on the Income and Property Tax; together with the Proceedings of...

    [London], Ordered by the House of Commons, to be Printed, 1 August 1861.

    First edition. This is the concluding report of the Commons Select Committee that had been responsible for investigating possible modifications to income tax policy. John Stuart Mill appeared before the Committee on the 18 June 1861, where he reiterated his central belief that the current system of income...

    £700