Human Sciences

Contact Jonathan Harrison or Alexander Laar

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. 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.

    £1750

  2. VALLE, Rolando della.

    Tractatus non minus utilissimus quam necessarius de inventarii confectione.

    Venice, Giovanni Battista Somaschi, 1573 (printed in 1572, dated in the colophon).

    Very rare first edition of the successful Tractatus of the statesman and jurist Rolando della Valle. It is the first work to systematically treat the procedure for the drawing of organized lists or inventories to be used in the practice of inheritance law.

    £500

  3. BOTERO, Giovanni.

    Della ragione di stato, libri dieci. Con tre libri delle cause della grandezza della città ... Di nuouo in questa...

    The second Gioliti edition of Botero’s neglected masterpiece in the history of economics, first published in 1589, bound with the first Venice edition of the Aggiunte. Of the first work, Schumpeter writes: ‘Divested of nonessentials, the “Malthusian” Principle of Population sprang fully developed...

    £2200

  4. [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

  5. COQUEREL, Nicolas de.

    Discours de la perte que les François reçoiuent en la permission d’exposer les monnoyes estrangeres....

    Paris, François Iacquin, 1608.

    First edition, scarce, of this work on monetary policy and coinage by Nicolas de Coquerel, general de monnaies at the court of Henri IV. Coquerel begins his work with a history of human society, in order to show the centrality of money and monetary policy to the State. Arthur E. Monroe describes his...

    £300

  6. [CHABANS, Louis, Comte de].

    Raisons pour montrer que l’edit nouvellement faict sur les monnoyes est juste, et qu’il est au...

    Paris, Nicolas Roffet’s widow, 1609.

    Rare first edition, Chaban’s analysis of the monetary reform designed by the French Crown to counter a persistent monetary crisis and its effects, exacerbated in the extreme by decades of religious wars: mounting inflation, deterioration of the coinage, overvaluation of foreign currencies, stagnant...

    £300

  7. POULLAIN, Henri.

    Traictés des monnoyes, pour un Conseiller d’Estat.

    Paris, [n.p.], 1621.

    Rare first edition of this monetary tract, a collection of reports on money presented by Poullain, advisor at the Cour des Comptes, to Sully. A new edition with different content was published in 1709.

    £250

  8. PRYNNE, William.

    An humble remonstrance against the tax of ship-money lately imposed: laying open the illegality, injustice, abuses,...

    London, Michael Sparke senior, 1643.

    First authorised edition, after the ‘nonsensical, useless, yea ridiculous’ printing of 1641, of this polemic against the ship tax imposed by Charles II in 1634, by the prolific puritan pamphleteer, lawyer, and later Bath MP William Prynne (c.1600-1669), composed while confined to the Tower...

    £750

  9. THE RATES OF MERCHANDISE,

    That is to say, the Subsidy of Tonnage, Subsidy of Poundage, and the Subsidy of Woollen Clothes or Old-Drapery,...

    London, Edward Husbands and Thomas Newcomb, 1660.

    Printed descriptions of the import duties on wine and merchandise appeared in England as early as 1545. This later edition is one of the first editions after the lifetime of Charles I, who levied the duties without the authority of parliament. Printed at the instigation of the House of Commons, it was...

    £2250

  10. PRYNNE, William.

    A seasonable, legal, historical Vindication and chronological collection of the good old, fundamental liberties,...

    London, Edward Thomas, 1679.

    ‘Second edition’, i.e. the second collected edition and the first posthumous appearance of Prynne’s (1600-1669) radical tract, ‘corrected and inlarged by the Author in his lifetime’; the first part appeared in 1654, published by Edward Thomas.

    £350

  11. OUT, Sieuwert Jansz.

    Uytgerekende tafelen in’t gout en silver, gereduceert uyt marken troys, in marken fijns ... Van nieuws gecalculeert,...

    Amsterdam, Marcus Willemsz Doornick, 1681.

    Rare corrected and enhanced edition (first 1651) of Out’s essential manual for gold and silver merchants in the golden age of the Dutch Republic when Dutch trade was at its height, dedicated to three chief commissioners of the Wisselbank of Amsterdam. Out worked as an assayer at the bank and was highly...

    £1600

  12. [ROYAL FISHERY COMPANY.]

    A Collection of Advertisements, Advices, and Directions, relating to the Royal Fishery within the British...

    London, printed for H.M. and sold by J. Whitlock, 1695.

    First edition. The Royal Fishery Company, incorporated in 1662, had great trouble finding subscribers. Initially, Charles II offered £9000 as an incentive to investors but on these only raising £3680 he withdrew his undertaking, instead allowing a lottery to aid the Company’s fortunes. After attempts...

    £450

  13. [ROYAL LUSTRING COMPANY.]

    The Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, to whom the Petition of the Royal Lustring-Company...

    London, E. Whitlock, 1698.

    First edition; a French version appeared the same year. Since its foundation in 1688, the Royal Lustring Company (importers of ‘lustrings’ or ‘alamodes’ – a fine, light, glossy, black silk) had enjoyed special monopolistic privileges which it had exploited to the full. However, by the end...

    £850

  14. BELLEGARDE, J.

    B. Morvan de. Reflexions sur ce qui peut plaire ou deplaire dans le commerce du monde ... Seconde édition, revue...

    Amsterdam, Héritiers d’Antoine Schelte, 1699.

    Second, corrected edition of this philosophical and moral treatise. Two printings of this second edition appeared in 1699, one in Paris and this one in Amsterdam.

    £200

  15. [CLIFFORD, Jeronimy].

    The case of Jeronimy Clifford, merchant and planter of Surinam. Paper, No. 160.

    [London, n.p., 1711].

    First extended account of Clifford’s long-running legal battle with the Dutch West India Company in Surinam over Corcabo, his sugar plantation. The earlier publications had been just four pages long; this work furnishes us with plantation account details and testimonies, chronologically arranged with...

    £1250

  16. [SOUTH SEA COMPANY. ANONYMOUS].

    A letter to a member of parliament wherein the unreasonableness and improbability of binding down...

    London, n.p., 1721.

    First edition of a concise pamphlet arguing against the reduction of redeemable South Sea Company stock to £300. The author presents a strong succinct argument by contrasting the treatment of the redeemable-subscribers with that of their peers: ‘The Fourth Money-Subscriber, out of his Money which...

    £150

  17. [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

  18. [WALPOLE, Robert].

    Some general considerations concerning the alteration and improvement of publick revenues.

    London, J. Roberts, 1733.

    First edition of Walpole’s anonymous, persuasive defence of an excise to be levied by the government on tobacco and wines. Walpole urges calm in response to what he considers perfectly reasonable measures for the increase of public funds. Corrupt merchants were aghast at the threat of warehouse inspections,...

    £150

  19. FISHER, George.

    The instructor: or, young man’s best companion…to which is added the family’s best companion…

    London, for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, [not before 1735].

    Second edition, (first, 1727). ‘Volumes entitled The Young Man’s companion exist in many versions and go back to the 1680s when William Mather produced the first of them. They are compendiums of useful information, intended for self-improvement. They concentrate on English, Mathematics, including...

    £850

  20. GEE, Joshua.

    The trade and navigation of Great-Britain considered: shewing that the surest way for a nation to increase in riches,...

    London, A. Bettesworth, C. Hitch … and S. Birt, 1738.

    Fourth edition of Gee’s most important work, first published in 1729. Written at a time of declining exports, decaying agriculture and high unemployment Trade and navigation discusses foreign trade with strong protectionist tendencies. Gee is keen to improve trade with the North American colonies,...

    £450