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. 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

  2. [GREENE, Asa.]

    The perils of Pearl Street, including a taste of the dangers of Wall Street, by a late merchant.

    New York, Betts & Anstice and Peter Hill, 1834.

    First edition of a very early Wall Street novella, the fictional tale of Billy Hazard, an innocent carpenter’s son from rural New York state determined to make it as a merchant in the city. Billy’s attempts to establish himself in the mercantile trade in New York City are ultimately unsuccessful...

    £4500

  3. 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

  4. [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

  5. [BANK OF ENGLAND].

    RICARDO, Samson, and others. Collection of 12 works on the Bank of England,

    1837-1838.

    Twelve rare and important texts, witnessing the dispute between J. Horsley Palmer, merchant, banker and governor of the Bank of England, the economist Ricardo Samson, and the banker Samuel Loyd-Jones, one of the leading figures in the monetary history of England: a notable sammelband with a remarkable...

    £3250

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. [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

  10. [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

  11. [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

  12. 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

  13. RICARDO, David (1772-1823), political economist.

    Manuscript address panel to ‘Mr. Mitchell Vote Office House of Commons’ signed...

    Brighton, 23 July 1820.

    The present address panel undoubtedly stems from a request for documents by Ricardo mentioned in a letter to John Ramsay McCulloch, of 2 August 1820, in which Ricardo writes as follows: ‘I have been for sometime in this place [Brighton] enjoying the sea breezes ... The papers which I moved for respecting...

    £750

  14. [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

  15. [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

  16. [MILL, John Stuart, witness].

    Report from the Select Committee on the Income and Property Tax; together with the Proceedings of...

    [London], Ordered by the House of Commons, to be Printed, 1 August 1861.

    First edition. This is the concluding report of the Commons Select Committee that had been responsible for investigating possible modifications to income tax policy. John Stuart Mill appeared before the Committee on the 18 June 1861, where he reiterated his central belief that the current system of income...

    £700

  17. 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

  18. RICARDO, David.

    The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, edited by Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb.

    Cambridge, Cambridge University Press for the Royal Economic Society, 1951 [– 1955].

    First comprehensive edition of the works of the political economist David Ricardo (1772-1823).

    £650

  19. BROGGI, Ugo.

    Die Axiome der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung.

    Göttingen, Dieterischen Universitäts-Buchdruckerei, 1907.

    Rare first edition of this doctoral dissertation on the solution of Hilbert’s sixth problem, written under the supervision of David Hilbert. The problem posed tried to axiomatize those branches of science in which mathematics is prevalent. Broggi here aims to establish a system with which to prove...

    £375

  20. JEVONS, William Stanley.

    ‘Preliminary account of certain logical inventions’, communicated March 19th, 1866 [in: Proceedings...

    London, Longman …, Liverpool, Marples, 1867.

    First edition of the account of Jevons’ communication on the ‘logical abacus’ and the ‘logical machine’, a precursor of his later ‘logical piano’. Jevons had experimented with different forms of teaching aids before creating his logical piano. On this occasion, early in his career, Jevons...

    £350