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.
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,...
WIDUKIND, of Corvey.
Rerum ab Henrico et Ottone I Impp. gestarum libri III.
Basel, Johannes Hervagen, 1532. [bound with:]
I. First edition of ‘one of the principal sources for Medieval history’ (Potthast), the Res gesta Saxonicae of Widukind (c. 925–973), a Saxon historian at the Benedictine Abbey of Corvey, his text edited and annotated by the Ulm reformer Martinus Frecht. ‘Unlike the earlier chroniclers, he did...
[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).
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 –...
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.
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.
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...
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?).
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.
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.
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.
Somma della filosofia a’Aristotele, e prima della dialettica. [with:] Somma di tutta la natural filosofia di...
Venice, Giovanni Battista, & Marchio Sessa, & fratelli, .
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).
[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...
[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...
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.
Le Cabinet du Roy de France, dans lequel il y a trois perles precieuses d’inestimable valeur: par le moyen...
[No place or printer], 1581.
First edition, first issue, of this harsh criticism of the debauched church and rotten nobility and the resulting bad finances of France, anonymously published by a well-travelled Protestant physician, and writer on alchemy who was to become an associate of the reformer Fausto Paolo Sozzini, better known...
Anglorum praelia, ab Anno Domini. 1327. anno nimirum primo inclytissimi Principis Eduardi eius nominis tertii,...
London, Henry Bynneman for Ralph Newbery, 1582.
First published in 1580, this is one of three closely similar 1582 editions of Ocland’s Anglorum proelia which add two works at the end: Ocland’s Eirēnarchia (a continuation of Anglorum proelia first published in 1582) and Alexander Neville’s account of the 1549 Norfolk rising, De furoribus Norfolciensium...
STAUNFORD [Stanford], Sir William.
Les Plees del Coron, Divisees in Plusors Titles & Comon Lieux. Per Queux Home Pluis Redement...
[London], Richard Tottell, 1583.
The definitive edition, and that owned by Thomas Jefferson, of the first book devoted entirely to criminal law. First published posthumously in 1557 and based on Bracton and the Year Books, Les Plees deals in turn with offences, jurisdiction, appeals, indictments and defences. The third part is devoted...
EPICTETUS. [DU VAIR, Guillaume, translator].
Le Manuel d’Epictete.
Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1591.
Rare first edition of this translation of the “Encheiridion” or “Manual” of Epictetus’ principal doctrines; an earlier translation by Antoine Du Moulin had been published in 1544.
Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus,...
First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against...