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. [QUESNAY, François.] DU PONT DE NEMOURS, Pierre Samuel (editor).

    Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement...

    Leiden and Paris, Merlin, 1768.

    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 The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement...

    £37500

  2. 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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. [ANDREAE, Johann Valentin.]

    Reipublicae Christianopolitanae descriptio ...

    Strasburg, heirs of Lazarus Zetzner, 1619.

    a fine sammelband of four first editions by andreae, including his famous christian utopia.

    £12500

  6. 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

  7. [PUSHKIN, Aleksandr.]

    Исторія пугачевскаго бунта [Istoriia pugachevskago bunta; History of the Pugachev...

    St. Petersburg, Chancellery press, 1834.

    Rare first edition, in a contemporary Russian binding. Pushkin’s undertook his foray into the genre of history-writing with the utmost regard for his sources: from archival documents and eyewitness reports to direct inspection of the places where the conflict played out, he acquired an exceptionally...

    £9500

  8. BAYNE, Alexander.

    Institutions of the criminal Law in Scotland. For the Use of Students who attend the Lectures of Alexander Bayne,...

    Edinburgh: Printed by Mr. Thomas and Walter Ruddimans, and sold by Mr. William Monro … 1730.

    First edition of scarce summary of Scottish criminal law by the first professor of Scots law at Edinburgh University, designed to serve as lecture notes to his students. General headings from Sedition to Incest, Murder and Wilful Fire-Raising also include explanations of some more specifically...

    £9500

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

    £6000

  12. NEWTON, Isaac.

    Opuscula Mathematica, philosophica et philologica. Collegit partimque Latine vertit ac recensuit Joh. Castillioneus...

    Lausanne and Geneva, Bousquet & soc., 1744.

    First edition of Newton’s collected works, edited and introduced by the Pisa alumnus Giovanni Salvemini da Castiglione.  The edition contained twenty-six works which, while having appeared previously, were not easily accessible, from Newton’s mathematical works and optical lectures, which...

    £6000

  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. ALLEN, Willam.

    Picturesque views on the River Niger, sketched during Lander’s last visit in 1832-33 …

    London, John Murray, Hodgson & Graves, and Ackerman, 1840.

    First edition, one of a very few copies issued coloured, of this collection of beautiful views sketched along the Niger River by the naval officer William Allen (1792–1864), accompanied by descriptive notes extracted from his diary.

    £5750

  15. 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

  16. [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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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