Human Sciences

Contact Private: 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. [QUESNAY, François].

    DU PONT DE NEMOURS, Pierre Samuel, editor. Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement le plus...

    First edition of the ‘Bible’ of the Physiocrats and one of the most important and original works on political economy to be published before the Wealth of Nations. The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement on page 104...

    £37500

  2. [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

  3. GIBBON, Edward.

    The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire.

    London, printed for W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1776–88.

    First editions of all six volumes of Gibbon’s ‘masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style’ (PMM). The first volume here is of the second variant (of two), with the errata corrected as far as p. 183 and X4 and a4 so signed.

    £14000

  4. [LOO, Pieter van, (attributed).] 

    156 watercolours of flowers, plants, and fruits. 

    [Holland, c. 1760-80.] 

    A truly stunning collection of over 150 original eighteenth-century botanical watercolours, attributed to the noted Dutch botanical artist Pieter van Loo (1731–1784). 

    £110000

  5. 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

  6. ANTONIUS de Vercellis. 

    Sermones quadragesimales de XII mirabilibus Christianae fidei excellentiis [with additions by Ludovicus...

    Venice, Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio [for Alexander Calcedonius], 16 February 1492/93. 

    A remarkable copy of the first edition of Antonius de Vercellis’s sermons, owned and annotated by three contemporary Franciscans, one of whom, Andrea Alamanni, may be the confessor who administered Machiavelli’s last rites. 

    £8500

  7. STACEY, George et al.

    Daguerreotype and ambrotype portraits of Stacey and members of his family.

    London, 1850s.

    A handsome set of photographs of the English Quaker and abolitionist George Stacey (1787-1857), his second wife Mary née Barclay (1797-1876) and members of their extended family, taken by some of the finest portraitists in England at that time.

    £7500

  8. BERRYAT, Jean, et al., editors.

    Receuil de Mémoires, ou Collection de Pièces Académiques, concernant la Médicine, l’Anatomie...

    Dijon, Auxerre, Paris and Liège, F. Desventes, F. Fournier, et al., 1754-86.

    The scarce first collected edition of these scientific papers from all over Europe (lacking only the last five volumes of the Partie Française), including among its contributors such famous names as Huygens, Leeuwenhoek, Hevelius, De La Hire, Mariotte, Réaumur, La Condamine, Haller, Maupertuis, Boyle,...

    £6000

  9. 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

  10. DOLCE, Lodovico.

    Somma della filosofia a’Aristotele, e prima della dialettica. [with:] Somma di tutta la natural filosofia di...

    Venice, Giovanni Battista, & Marchio Sessa, & fratelli, [1565].

    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).

    £5500

  11. [COYER; VOLTAIRE; WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION.]

    ‘Recueil des Pieces’.

    France, 1744-1749.

    An extraordinary sammelband of 75 pamphlets – 27 of which are recorded in only 3 or fewer libraries on OCLC – mostly relating to successful French exploits throughout Europe during the War of the Austrian Succession, including the Dutch and Italian campaigns and the conclusion of the war.

    £5500

  12. DEPARCIEUX, Antoine.

    Essai sur les probabilités de la durée de la vie humaine; d’où l’on déduit la manière de déterminer...

    Paris, chez les frères Guerin, 1746.

    A large, crisp and illustrious copy of the first edition of a classic of statistical science: it is the first to define expectation of life – which Deparcieux calls ‘la vie moyenne’ – and the first to contain life tables for males and females. ‘The first French work in the actuarial...

    £5500

  13. PAGNINI, Giovanni Francesco; Francesco BALDUCCI PEGOLOTTI; Giovanni da UZZANO.

    Della decima e di varie altre gravezze imposte dal...

    Lisbona e Lucca, (vols. 3-4: e si vende da Giuseppe Bouchard librajo francese in Firenze), 1765-66.

    First edition, scarce on the market, of a highly important work in the history of economics and world trade. Pagnini (1714-89) worked in the financial department of the Tuscan government and published translations of several of Locke’s works. The Della decima is his most important work, giving ‘a...

    £5500

  14. DESCARTES, René.

    Meditationes de prima philosophia, in quibus Dei existentia, & animae humanae a corpore distinctio, demonstrantur.

    Amsterdam, Blaeu, 1644.

    Remarkable sammelband gathering two important Descartes editions and two notable contemporary responses, by Descartes’ critic Gassendi and his admirer de La Forge; annotated in two early hands: an eloquent witness to seventeenth-century Dutch philosophical debate about certainty of knowledge, mind...

    £5500

  15. FULBECKE, William.

    An Historicall Collection of the continuall Factions, Tumults, and Massacres of the Romans and Italians during...

    London, Printed for William Ponsonby. 1601.

    First edition. Fulbecke’s Historicall Collection ‘was a narrative history of the last years of the Roman republic and it is significant as one of the very few attempts by a Renaissance Englishman to write such a work … An interesting attempt to weave together such often-contradictory...

    £5250

  16. SAY, Jean-Baptiste.

    Olbie, ou Essai sur les moyens de réformer les moeurs d’une nation.

    Paris, Deterville and Treuttel & Wurtz, ‘an VIII de la République’ [1799–1800].[bound with:][ANON]. Principes politiques, par F. M....

    Presentation copy with the author’s inscription of the rare first edition of Say’s utopia, written in response to a competition organised by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques on the question: ‘Quelles sont les institutions capables de fonder la morale chez un peuple?’. Say...

    £5000

  17. [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

  18. THÜNEN, Johann Heinrich von.

    Der isolirte Staat in Beziehung auf Landwirthschaft und Nationalökonomie …[Part I and part II/1].

    Rostock, G. B. Leopold, 1842–50.

    Scarce second edition of the first part, revised and enlarged, being the repository of Thünen’s major theories, and the edition used by Roscher in his Geschichte der National-Oekonomik, here bound with the first edition of part II/1, the last to be published during the author’s lifetime;...

    £4500

  19. 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

  20. BACON, Francis.

    Francisci Baconi, Baronis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, operum moralium et civilium tomus … cura...

    London, Edward Griffin [and John Haviland] for Richard Whitaker [and John Norton], 1638.

    First edition, first issue, a copy from the celebrated Albani library: tangible witness to the early and fecund reception of Bacon’s thought in the circles of Galileian science in Italy.

    £4500