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. DELLA TORRE, Raffaele.

    Tractatus de cambiis.

    Genoa, Pietro Giovanni Calenzano, 1641.

    First edition of this monumental work on all aspects of the problems of exchange and bills of exchange by the Genoese politician, jurist and historian, Della Torre (1579-1667). Described by the economic historian De Roover as marking ‘l’apogée de l’école scolastique’, the Tractatus is remarkable...

    £1250

  6. 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

  7. [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

  8. [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

  9. [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

  10. [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

  11. [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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Nine

    pamphlets dating from 1739 and 1740 concerned with the war with Spain, the South Sea Company and the sugar trade in the British...

    i). The consequences of his majesty’s journey to Hanover, at this critical juncture. Considered in a letter from a Member of Parliament in town to a noble Duke in the country: to which is added, the Duke of A---l’s speech upon the state of the nation: with the reply to it, by Lord ******. London,...

    £3500

  16. [MABBUT, George].

    Sir Isaac Newton’s tables for renewing and purchasing the leases of cathedral-churches and colleges, according...

    London, printed for Thomas Astley, 1742

    Sixth edition, first published in 1686, this issue was sometimes also published with a separate title page and imprint reading, ‘The money’d man’s pocket-book’, London, 1742’ immediately preceding the title-page of the second part. A series of tables calculating the amounts owed on leases based...

    £125

  17. [MONS PIETATIS].

    Constituciones del Real Monte de Piedad, que baxo la proteccion de su Majestad Catholica ha erigido en la ciudad...

    Barcelona, Francisco Suriá, 1751.

    First edition of the constitution of the first mons pietatis to be established in Barcelona, granted by Fernando VI on 28 January 1751.

    £650

  18. BELLONI, Girolami, Marchese.

    Del Commercio dissertazione.

    Rome, Niccolo and Marco Pagliarini, 1757.

    Second edition to be authorized by Belloni, (first, 1750) – the first edition to include the author’s considerations on ‘imaginary money’ (pp. 135-154) – of a work notable for its argument in favour of restrictions on the export of money by the Vatican banker Girolamo Belloni (1688–1760)....

    £300

  19. [NAVEAU, Jean-Baptiste].

    Le financier citoyen.

    [N. p., n. p.,] 1757.

    A fine copy of the first edition of this anonymously published work on the financial administration of France. All we know about Jean-Baptiste Naveau (1716–1762) is that he was ‘directeur de correspondance et fermier des devoirs de Bretagne’ (Quérard). This work examines the policies of the ministry...

    £650

  20. [RALPH, James].

    The case of authors by profession or trade, stated: with regard to booksellers, the stage, and the public. No matter...

    London, R. Griffiths, 1758.

    First edition, ‘the first protest raised in the eighteenth century against the treatment of authors and dramatists by booksellers and theatre managers’ (ODNB). From this work Isaac D’Israeli extensively quoted (without acknowledgement) in his Calamities of authors, and it is very likely that Oliver...

    £1250