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. 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

  2. PECCHIO, Giuseppe.

    Storia della economia pubblica in Italia, ossia epilogo critico degli economisti italiani, preceduto da un’...

    Lugano, Tipografia della Svizzera Italiana, 1849.

    Third edition (first, Lugano, 1829) of a companion piece to Custodi’s monumental Scrittori classici italiani di economia politica, published in 50 volumes, 1803–16. With this work Pecchio supplies a biographical account of each author, as well as a historical introduction, chapters devoted to the...

    £50

  3. PECKHAM, Henry.

    The tour of Holland, Dutch Brabant, the Austrian Netherlands, and part of France; in which is included a description...

    London, G. Kearsly, 1772.

    First edition. This very readable epistolary work recounts the travels of a trio of young English gentlemen and a monolingual servant, as they set off on a grand tour of central Europe. As well as details of the travelling process, including a full resume of expenses incurred, Peckham also provides detailed...

    £800

  4. PELLISSERY, Roch-Antoine de.

    Eloge politique de Colbert: qui n’a point été présenté à l’Academie Française pour le prix...

    Lausanne, n.p., 1775.

    First edition. This work provides a detailed examination of Colbert’s financial and economic work, with detailed information about the situation in France since his ministry. Colbert was the contrôleur général under Louis XIV and a firm believer in the mercantilist doctrine that the expansion of...

    £250

  5. [PINTO, Isaac de].

    Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit. Contenant une Analyse raisonnée des Fonds d’Angleterre, & de ce...

    Amsterdam, Marc Michel Rey, 1771.

    First edition, first issue, of this ‘sound and ingenious’ (McCulloch) work on revenue and stock exchange transactions. The main thrust of Pinto’s argument is that the national debt, instead of being a burden, has been the principal source of the wealth and power of England.

    £4000

  6. [PLACE, Francis.]

    An Essay on the State of the Country, in Respect to the Condition and Conduct of the Husbandry Labourers, and...

    London, Innes ‘not for sale’, [1831].

    First edition. The author, who has been identified as the social reformer Francis Place (1771-1854), concludes that, with current low profit margins, squeezed by a large variety of duties, tithes and taxes as well as rent, farmers were unable to increase labourers’ wages, and therefore a further...

    £500

  7. [PORTUGAL.]

    Memorias economicas da Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa, para o adiantamento da Agricultura, das Artes, e da Industria...

    Lisbon, Officina da Academia Real das Sciencias, 1789 1815.

    First edition. The long period of publication accounts for the rarity of complete sets of this important periodical, containing articles on industry, agriculture, political economy, statistics and general social and geographical matters. They exhibit the continued influence of Physiocratic ideas after...

    £1100

  8. [POWNALL, Thomas.] POWNALL, Charles A. W.

    Thomas Pownall M.P., F.R.S., Governor of Massachusetts Bay, Author of The Letters of...

    London, Henry Stevens, Son & Stiles, 1908.

    First edition. Thomas Pownall, English colonial administrator and Governor of Massachusetts, was one of the earliest critics of Adam Smith, publishing a critical Letter (1776) discussing the Wealth of Nations. Although he expressed admiration for Smith’s work in the Letter, he opposed his view of the...

    £100

  9. [PRADT, Dominique Georges Frédéric de Riom de Prolhiac du Four de].

    Antidote au Congrès de Rastadt, ou Plan d’un nouvel équilibre...

    London [i.e. Hamburg], 1798.

    First edition of the Abbé de Pradt’s first and most famous work. The entries for the present work in Barbier, Quérard and NUC (which gives a different pagination) all include ‘par l’auteur des “Considérations sur la France”’ in their transcription of the title-page. Our copy is completely...

    £250

  10. [PRICE, Richard.]

    Remarks on Dr. Price’s observations on the nature of civil liberty, &c.

    London, for G. Kearsley, 1776.

    First edition, one of two issues published in the same year. A reply to and critical commentary on Richard Price’s discussion of American independence, reaffirming the English claim to sovereignty over America. Possibly penned by a member of Hume’s circle, the pamphlet was judged to be ‘written...

    £750

  11. PRIESTLEY, Joseph.

    A discourse on occasion of the death of Dr. Price; delivered at Hackney, on Sunday, May 1, 1791.

    London, for J. Johnson, 1791.

    First edition of this moving tribute to the philosopher, demographer, and political radical Richard Price (1723-1791), by his close friend Joseph Priestley. ‘The most august assembly in the world, by which I wish to be understood the National Assembly of France, have justly styled him the apostle of...

    £550

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. QUESNAY, François.

    Traité de la suppuration.

    Paris, Veuve d’Houry, 1770.

    [bound with:]
    QUESNAY, François. Précis sur la suppuration putride ... Paris, Veuve D’Houry, 1776.

    £250

  15. QUESNAY, François.

    Traité de la gangrène.

    Paris, Veuve d’Houry, 1771.

    Third edition. Quesnay (1694-1774) assesses the problem of gangrene with detailed observations on the causes, symptoms and cures for dry and wet gangrene. He established his reputation in political and academic circles for his medical work, becoming physician to Louis XV in the 1740s. His first medical...

    £175

  16. [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

  17. 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

  18. RENTSCH, Carl, Edler von Ehrenthal.

    Die Staatswirtschaft nach Naturgesetzen.

    Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1819.

    First edition. Rentsch’s political economy offers an in-depth analysis of concepts such as income and expenditure, value and cost, market value, and competition; particular attention is paid to coin, notes, circulation, public and private credit, and exchange.

    £150

  19. RICARDO, David.

    Zasady ekonomji politycznej i podatkowania.

    Warsaw, Jan Cotty, 1919.

    Second and most complete Polish edition of On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (first published in 1817), in a new translation by Dr. M. Bronstein. The 1826 first Polish translation by Stanislaw Kunatt was based on the translation into French by the Portuguese journalist Francisco Solano...

    £350

  20. [RICARDO, David.]

    Report from the select committee on the usury laws.

    London, Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 1818.

    First edition of the report from the select committee ‘appointed to consider the effects of the laws which regulate or restrain the interest of money, and to report their opinion thereupon to the House…’ (p. 3). The question of the Usury Laws had first been raised in the house of commons by Brougham...

    £950