Human Sciences

Contact Edmund Brumfitt, Jonathan Harrison, Alfred Pasternack or Barbara Scalvini

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. ANTONINUS FLORENTINUS.

    De censuris et De sponsalibus et matrimonio.

    Venice, Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 23 September 1474.

    A beautiful copy of the first edition of these two treatises on excommunication and marriage by Antoninus (1389–1459), Dominican friar and Archbishop of Florence (from 1446), taken from book III of his great work, the Summa theologica moralis, which was not printed in its entirety until 1485.

    £9500

  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. THUCYDIDES.

    ΘΟΥΚΥΔΙΔΗΣ. THVCYDIDES.

    (Colophon:) Venice, Aldus, May 1502.

    A handsome copy of the first edition of the Greek text of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, printed by the great Aldus Manutius, with an interesting provenance.

    £25000

  4. PLUTARCH [and Jodocus BADIUS Ascensius (editor)].

    Vitae … novissime … longe diligentius repositae, majoreque...

    Venice, Melchiorre Sessa [the elder] & Pietro Ravani, 26 November 1516.

    First substantially illustrated edition of Plutarch’s Lives, with signs of early reading. First published in this popular translation in Paris in 1514 by French scholar-printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462–1535) in collaboration with Jean Petit, the text is here accompanied by seventy-eight...

    £4250

  5. FLORUS.

    Lucii Flori rerum ab urbe condita liber primus [– quartus].

    [Venice, in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri, March 1521.]

    Florus’s epitome of Roman history, extracted from the Aldine edition of March 1521 which comprised an epitome of Livy, Florus, and Niccolò Perotti’s translation of Polybius.

    £750

  6. SUETONIUS et al.

    In hoc volumine haec continentur. C. Suetonii Tranquilli XII caesares. Sexti Aurelii Victoris a D. Caesare...

    Venice, in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri, May 1521.

    Second Aldine edition (first August 1516) of Suetonius’ Lives of the Caesars and Eutropius’ Abridgement of Roman History, with Paul the Deacon’s continuation, this copy formerly in the possession of Petrus Paganus (1532–1576), German neo-Latin poet, humanist, and notorious drinker,...

    £2250

  7. [ROZIER.]

    Le rozier historial de France contenant deux roziers. Le p[re]mier rozier contient plusieurs belles rozes e boutons de...

    Paris, [Gilles Couteau for François Regnault], 26 February 1522 [i.e. 1523].

    First edition, the very handsome Fairfax-Murray copy, of the Rozier historial de France. The first part, the Rozier des guerres, is a speculum principis for rulers in peace and war, and was originally published on its own in Lyons circa 1489 (only two copies known). The second...

    £25000

  8. DIO CASSIUS.

    Dione historico delle guerre et fatti de Romani. Tradotto di Greco in lingua vulgare per M. Nicolo Leoniceno. Con...

    Venice, Niccolò Zoppino, March 1533.

    First edition of Dio’s Roman History in any language, translated into Italian from the original Greek by Niccolò Leoniceno and preceding the Greek editio princeps, printed by Robert Estienne in 1548, by some fifteen years.

    £2750

  9. GEOPONICA.

    Constantino Cesare de li scelti et utilissimi documenti de l’Agricoltura, nuovamente dal latino in volgare tradotto...

    Venice, Giovan Battista da Borgofranco, 1542.

    First Italian edition of the Geoponica, a collection of agricultural teachings originally compiled by Cassianus Bassus around the sixth or seventh century AD from older Roman, Greek and Arabic texts (mostly now lost), and revised c. 950 AD by order of Constantine VII, to whom the work was...

    £1650

  10. 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 –...

    £500

  11. POSTEL, Guillaume.

    De orbis terrae concordia libri quatuor, multiiuga eruditione ac pietate referti, quibus nihil hoc tam perturbato...

    [Basel, Johannes Oporinus, 1544.]

    First edition of all four books of Postel’s vision of the unity of the world. The first book had been printed privately in Paris the previous year while approval of the Sorbonne theologians was awaited. When that was not granted, Postel had the work printed by his friend Oporinus in Basel.

    £4500

  12. GUAZZO, Marco.

    Historie di M. Marco Guazzo di tutti i fatti degni di memoria nel mondo successi dal 1524 sino a l’anno 1549....

    Venice, Giolito, 1549.

    First edition thus, this copy owned by the future Pope Clement XII, of a remarkable history of recent and contemporary events, first published in 1540 and here updated by almost ten years, resuming the account of world event and Italian politics and including references to American history from 1522.

    £3600

  13. 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-page Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  14. POSTEL, Guillaume.

    De originibus, seu, de varia et potissimum orbi Latino ad hanc diem incognita, aut inconsyderata historia, quorum...

    Basle, Johannes Oporinus, [1553].

    First edition of Postel’s investigations into the original language as a means to regain the primordial unity of mankind.

    £3500

  15. STEPHANUS.

    Stephani Atheniensis philosophi explanationes in Galeni priorem librum therapeuticum ad Glauconem, Augustino Gadaldino...

    Venice, Giunta, November 1554.

    First edition of Agostino Gadaldini’s Latin translation of Galen’s medical treatise Ad Glauconem and of Stephanus’ commentary upon it, enhanced with his own scholia. Galen’s Ad Glauconem is a concise introduction to the basics of diagnosis and the treatment of fevers. The...

    £1800

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. BALDUINO, Girolamo.

    Quaesitum novum pulcherrimum, ac optatissimum contra Scotum, ac communem viam in quo enucleatur an de subiecto...

    Naples, Raymundus Amatus, 1557.

    Scarce first editions of two early works on Aristotelian logic by Girolamo Balduino, an important member of the Paduan school of Aristotelian commentators who have been recognised in recent scholarship as a crucial link between traditional logic and science and the new, Galilean methodologies....

    £1250

  19. MERULA, Gaudenzio.

    Nuova selva di varia lettione di Gaudentio Merula, divisa in cinque libri; tradotta di Latino in lingua Italiana....

    Venice, Giovanni Andrea Valvassori, 1559.

    First edition in Italian of Merula’s encyclopaedic Memorabilium libri, as censored by the future Pope Sixtus V. Arranged in five books, the delightfully diverse contents cover demons and death; the planets and constellations; the four elements; love; fish, birds, animals and snakes; the...

    £475

  20. MATTIOLI, Pier Andrea.

    Commentarii secundo aucti, in libros sex Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbe de medica materia ... His accessit...

    Venice, Officina Valgrisiana, 1560.

    Fourth Latin edition (first 1554) of Mattioli’s enormously popular herbal; from the library of the learned German orientalist Jakob Christmann and with his annotations in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Aramaic, and German.

    £12000