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. [SEVILLE.]

    Mercantile contract between Sebastián de Baeza of Seville and Hernán López de Segovia, almost certainly relating...

    Seville, 25 July 1576.

    A commercial document from the heyday of Seville’s trade with the Indies. Drawn up for Sebastián de Baeza, a resident of the barrio of San Bartolomé in Seville, the document recapitulates a previous agreement of 25 June 1576 between, on the one hand, Hernán López de Segovia and, on...

    £1200

  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.

    £350

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. PRYNNE, William.

    Aurum reginae; or a compendious tractate, and chronological collection of records in the Tower, and court...

    London, for the author by T. Radcliffe, 1688.

    First edition of this defence of the aurum reginae or queen-gold, revenue raised by the king in order to fund the household of his queen consort. The puritan controversialist, politician, and legal antiquarian William Prynne (c. 1600–1669) presents a comprehensive survey of the various...

    £650

  7. 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

  8. [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...

    £250

  9. [BANK OF SCOTLAND.]

    Act of Parliament for erecting a bank in Scotland. Edinburgh, July 17 1695.

    Edinburgh, printed by the heirs and successors of Andrew Anderson, 1695.

    Very rare edition of the Act of Parliament establishing Scotland’s first and oldest bank, founded just one year after the Bank of England.

    £750

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. [MARPERGER, Paul Jacob].

    Erläuterung der Hamburger und Amsterdamer Waaren Preiss-Couranten, und der in diesen beyden, wie auch...

    [n.p., n.p., n.d., c. 1720].

    First edition of Marperger’s detailed and insightful account of the state of trade throughout Europe in the early 18th century. This work is an examination of current prices for goods for Hamburg and Amsterdam, considering the sources of various different goods and the reasons for changes in price....

    £500

  14. [LAW, John].

    Extrait du registre de la Compe. des Indes aujourduy 22 feurier 1720 [and copies of other items relating to Law’s...

    [France, after 1721].

    A contemporary manuscript by an anonymous copyist reproducing some of the key documents surrounding John Law’s Mississippi system and the Visa instituted following its collapse. In just four years, Law completely transformed the French monetary system to a paper money/bank credit system and substituted...

    £100

  15. [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...

    £975

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. [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, extremely rare, of the constitution of the first mons pietatis to be established in Barcelona, granted by Fernando VI on 28 January 1751.

    £650