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. WHEELER, John.

    A Treatise of Commerce, wherin are shewed the commodies [sic] arising by a wel ordered, and ruled trade, such as...

    Very rare first edition. With a long authorial presentation inscription on the initial blank to a fellow Merchant Adventurer:

    £15000

  2. [ORTES, Giammaria.]

    Errori popolari intorno all’ economia nazionale, considerati sulle presenti controversie fra i laici e i...

    [No place, no printer,] 1771.

    Very rare first edition of Ortes’ first work, written in defence of the clergy. ‘A Venetian monk, Ortes left his cloister on the entreaties of his mother after his father’s death, but remained in holy orders and was ever a strenuous defender of the clergy ... Ortes is undoubtedly the most eminent...

    £8000

  3. LE TROSNE, Guillaume-François.

    La Liberté du Commerce des Grains toujours utile & jamais nuisible …

    Paris, 1765.

    An important and interesting assemblage of scarce pamphlets on corn, including Le Trosne’s defence of free trade, described by Schumpeter as a ‘meritorious performance’ (p. 225) and Baudeau’s Lettres (see item 13), first published in the Ephémérides du Citoyen of February 1767.

    £6500

  4. MIRABEAU, Victor de Riquetti, Marquis de.

    Les Économiques. Par L[‘Ami] D[es] H[ommes].

    Amsterdam and Paris, Lacombe, 1769.

    Very rare first quarto edition of parts one and two, also issued in 12mo. A further volume of two additional parts was published in 1771. Mirabeau, who seems to have taken the title of this work from the Économiques of Xenophon, here gives various methods of economic instruction for the different levels...

    £5750

  5. 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

  6. SMITH, Adam.

    Untersuchung der Natur und Ursachen von Nationalreichthümern. Aus dem Englischen …

    Leipzig, Weidmann’s heirs and Reich, 1776–1778.

    First edition in German, the rare first issue, and the first translation into any language, of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This landmark translation, by Johann Friedrich Schiller, cousin of the famous poet, and Christian August Wichmann, was reissued in 1792 with...

    £5000

  7. 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

  8. [SERRES, Jean de].

    Gouvernement politique et economique. Tome premier [- troisieme].

    Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1766.

    First and only edition, rare, of a little-studied work on politics and economics attributed to the president of the Chambre des Comptes of Montpellier. The Avis tells us that the author had completed his work by 1759. By the beginning of the printing he had modified his original manuscript in two chapters:...

    £3500

  9. KEYNES, John Maynard.

    The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money.

    London, Macmillan and Co., 1936.

    First edition.

    £3500

  10. GASSER, Simon Peter.

    Einleitung zu den Oeconomischen Politischen und Cameral-Wissenschaften, worrinen für dieses mal die Oeconomico-Cameralia...

    Halle, Wäysenhaus, 1729.

    First edition. Simon Peter Gasser (1676–1745) was appointed by Friedrich Wilhelm I to the first chair of economy to be founded in Prussia, at the University of Halle in 1727, where Gasser had until then been a lecturer in law. The present work, an introduction to the science of cameralism, and dedicated...

    £3250

  11. SMITH, Adam.

    Recherches sur la nature et les causes de la richesse des nations. Traduit de l’anglois de M. Smith. Tome premier...

    Yverdon, [n.p.], 1781.

    Second French edition of the Wealth of Nations, the first version of this edition published in book form. Reprinted from Blavet’s serialised translation printed in the Journal de l’agriculture, du commerce, des arts et des finances from January 1779 through December 1780. Though Blavet claimed to...

    £3250

  12. BRITO, Joaquim José Rodrigues de.

    Memorias politicas sobre as verdadeiras bases da grandeza das naçoes, e principalmente de Portugal.

    Lisbon, Impressao regia, 1803-1805.

    First edition of this landmark in Portuguese philosophical, political and economic thought. Brito was a professor of law at the University of Coimbra and the Memorias is his only published work, written in response to what the author saw as the relative immaturity of the moral and political sciences...

    £3000

  13. [ANDRE, Pierre, fils d’un bon laboreur].

    L’ami du peuple Français, ou mémoire adressé à M. Turgot, contrôleur des finances,...

    Limoges, [n.p.], 1776.

    First edition thus, rare, of an attack on the French tax system published on the eve of Turgot’s demise. Set out as a narrative, this work outlines the family history of the author as a tale of hard work, of strife against the injustice and abuse of tax collectors, progressive failure to meet impossible...

    £2750

  14. [GREAT BRITAIN: PARLIAMENT].

    [Drop-head title:] ‘An act for repealing the several duties of customs and excise, and granting...

    London, Charles Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1787.

    Rare first edition of the consolidation act that revolutionised British handling of customs and excise and the problem of smuggling, in line with Adam Smith’s 1776 recommendations.

    £2750

  15. [LE MERCIER DE LA RIVIÈRE, Pierre Paul].

    Die glückliche Nation, oder der Staat von Felizien. Ein Muster der vollkommensten Freyheit...

    Leipzig, Voss, 1794.

    First edition in German, originally published as L’Heureuse Nation, ou Relation du gouvernement des Féliciens, peuple souverainement libre et heureux sous l’empire absolu des lois in 1792. Le Mercier de la Rivière (1720–1793/4) was a colleague of Quesnay and Mirabeau, whose physiocratic views...

    £2750

  16. [MIRABEAU, Victor de Riquetti, Marquis de].

    Élémens de la Philosophie rurale.

    The Hague, ‘chez les Libraires associés’, 1767.

    First edition. The Élémens is a slightly abridged version of the Philosophie rurale (1763), ‘the first of the four text-books of physiocrat orthodoxy’ (Schumpeter, p. 225). Linguet’s Théorie des loix civiles had appeared shortly before this work, and in the Discours préliminaire, Mirabeau...

    £2750

  17. ROBINSON, J.W. & J.R.

    The farmers and traders guide, showing at one view, the wholesale or retail value of any commodity from ¼...

    Pumpkintown, East Tennessee, Johnston & Edwards, 1839.

    First edition. Pumpkintown, so called for its abundant crop of pumpkins, was a flourishing trade centre at the start of the nineteenth century, serving as a contact point for wagon trains, and attracting merchants from Charleston, Hamburg and Augusta who bartered city produce for livestock and farm products....

    £2500

  18. [FASCISM.]

    Ordinamento Corporativo dello Stato Fascista.

    Padua, Edizione di propaganda corporative, 1935.

    Italian Fascism primarily followed the economic model of corporatism to organise capital and labour interest groups into trade unions and employer associations such as agriculture, industry, commercial trade, professionals and artists, as well as banks and credit associations. These trade associations...

    £2500

  19. FRESNE, François Ebaudy de.

    Traité d’Agriculture. Considérée tant en elle même que dans ses rapports d’économie politique....

    Paris, De Bray, 1788

    First edition, scarce. ‘According to De Fresne (1743-1815), French agriculture was suffering from the undue extent of corn-growing, and an excessive consumption of fodder in large towns ... He advocates the extension of pasture lands, and a more developed production of cattle and consumption of meat...

    £2250

  20. FOSTER, John Leslie.

    An essay on the principle of commercial exchanges, and more particularly of the exchange between Great Britain...

    London, J. Hatchard, 1804.

    First edition of a contemporary response to the Irish Currency Report of 1804 written by the Irish-born judge John L. Foster. The 1804 Irish Currency Report was a direct precursor to the more famous Bullion Report of 1810. Indeed, the former ‘…contains a large part of the doctrine later incorporated...

    £2250