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. [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

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. [LAW, John.]

    Abbildung des auf der Strasse Quincampoix in Paris entstandenen so berühmten Actien-Handel. Excudit C. Weigel nach...

    [1720.]

    This engraving is a German version of ‘Rue Quinquempoix en l'Année 1720’(BM Catalogue 1655). It gives a view, in angular perspective, of the Rue Quinquempoix, Paris, with crowds of persons assembled there during the share mania of the Mississippi, South Sea, and other schemes which bubbled in the...

    £1250

  5. [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

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. GARRIDO, Joam Antonio.

    Taboada curiosa, novamente reformada, e augmentada, em que se trata de todas as regras geraes, e especies...

    Lisbon, Ignacio Nogueira Xisto, 1759.

    Sixth edition of a rare Portuguese merchant’s guide. ‘This all-purpose handbook includes rates of exchange for European currencies, rules for basic math, instructions on bookkeeping for companies, rules of spelling and pronunciation, and a number of odd lists: e.g. notable items for the numbers 1-12,...

    £650

  9. [NECKER, Jacques.]

    Eloge de Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Discours qui a remporté le prix de l’Académie Françoise, en 1773.

    Paris, J.B. Brunet, 1773. [bound with:]

    First edition of Necker’s first work. Necker (1732–1804) was the opponent of Turgot (whose position he was to take over in 1777) in action as well as in theory, agreeing with Forbonnais on the side of State-regulation. The encomiastic function of this work, his first book, is in fact a thin cover...

    £750

  10. [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.

    £3500

  11. 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

  12. VINCENS, Jean Alexandre.

    Account book.

    Nimes, France, 1783-1800.

    A unique record of the financial transactions and business dealings of a leading Protestant family of bankers and merchants in Nîmes, in the south of France, prior to and during the French Revolution, covering the period between May 1783 and Fructidor year VIII i.e. 1800.

    £4250

  13. HURRY, Thomas.

    Tables of interest, from one pound to five hundred millions, for one day; by which the interest for any sum of money...

    [Yarmouth], Printed for the author, and sold by Messrs. Robinson, London; and Downes and March, Yarmouth, 1786.

    One of two editions published in 1786, the other one undated, ESTC does not give any precedence. Tables for calculating interest at a quarter, half, three-quarters, three, four, and five percent; intended as a quick reference for bankers and merchants. Hurry precedes his tables with four pages of example...

    £150

  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. HOGARTH, William.

    [South Sea Scheme].

    [London], [n.p.], [after 1751].

    Final state of eight, the first dated to 1721, of this fine satirical Hogarth print. ‘Hogarth’s satire concerns speculation of all kinds, his implication being that when the crowd loses itself in speculation all the ordinarily hidden evils emerge to operate unmolested. In the manner of Pope’s ‘Epilogue...

    £750

  16. 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

  17. HUSKISSON, William (1770-1830), politician.

    Autograph letter signed (‘W Huskisson’) to an unnamed ‘Dear Sir’.

    18 Hertford Street [London], 21 December, 1810.

    Huskisson was a leading exponent of strict adherence to the Gold standard and an opponent of the perceived over-issue of bank notes in the early nineteenth century. This letter was written only a few months after Huskisson had published his important pamphlet, The question concerning the depreciation...

    £150

  18. KING, John, barrister at law.

    A Report of the Cases of the King v. Wright, and the King v. De Yonge, who were severally tried for...

    Butterworth, and J. Cooke (Dublin), 1811.

    ?First edition. The question of forgeries, which were punishable by death, was an important one during the debates; it gave an argument to the bullionists.

    £100

  19. [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