Human Sciences

Contact 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. AUGUSTINUS TRIUMPHUS [i.e. AUGUSTINUS de Ancona]. 

    Summa de potestate ecclesiastica. 

    Augsburg, [Johann Schüssler,] 6 March 1473. 

    First edition of this highly important and influential magnum opus of political theory, a defence of papal supremacy. 

    £30000

  2. ANTONIUS de Vercellis. 

    Sermones quadragesimales de XII mirabilibus Christianae fidei excellentiis [with additions by Ludovicus...

    Venice, Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio [for Alexander Calcedonius], 16 February 1492/93. 

    A remarkable copy of the first edition of Antonius de Vercellis’s sermons, owned and annotated by three contemporary Franciscans, one of whom, Andrea Alamanni, may be the confessor who administered Machiavelli’s last rites. 

    £8500

  3. [MELANCHTHON, Philipp.] 

    LAGUS, Konrad.  Oratio de Platone. 

    Wittenberg, [J. Klug], 1538. 

    Only edition, exceedingly rare (one copy only in the US), of the main extant source for Melanchthon’s views on Plato.  ‘Melanchthon’s view of Plato is known primarily from a Latin speech, which he asked Conrad Lagus to deliver’ (Hartfelder). 

    £3500

  4. POSTEL, Guillaume.

    De orbis terrae concordia libri quatuor, multiiuga eruditione ac pietate referti, quibus nihil hoc tam perturbato...

    [Basel, Johannes Oporinus, 1544.]

    First edition of all four books of Postel’s vision of the unity of the world. The first book had been printed privately in Paris the previous year while approval of the Sorbonne theologians was awaited. When that was not granted, Postel had the work printed by his friend Oporinus in Basel.

    £4500

  5. POSTEL, Guillaume.

    De originibus, seu, de varia et potissimum orbi Latino ad hanc diem incognita, aut inconsyderata historia, quorum...

    Basle, Johannes Oporinus, [1553].

    First edition of Postel’s investigations into the original language as a means to regain the primordial unity of mankind.

    £3500

  6. BALDUINO, Girolamo.

    Quaesitum novum pulcherrimum, ac optatissimum contra Scotum, ac communem viam in quo enucleatur an de subiecto...

    Naples, Raymundus Amatus, 1557.

    Scarce first editions of two early works on Aristotelian logic by Girolamo Balduino, an important member of the Paduan school of Aristotelian commentators who have been recognised in recent scholarship as a crucial link between traditional logic and science and the new, Galilean methodologies....

    £1250

  7. SIGONIO, Carlo.

    De dialogo liber. Ad Ioannem Moronum cardinalem.

    Venice, Giordano Ziletti, 1562.

    SIGONIO, Carlo. De vita, et rebus gestis P. Scipionis Aemiliani liber. Adiectis in fine, unde historia sumpta sit, locis. Index rerum memorabilium. Bologna, Giovanni Rossi, 1569.

    £975

  8. RIDOLFI, Luca Antonio. 

    Aretefila, dialogo, nel quale da una parte sono quelle ragioni allegate, le quali affermano, lo amore...

    Lyons, Guillaume Rouillé, 1562. 

    Annotated copy, once owned by a music book collector, of the third edition (first 1557) of a remarkable Renaissance philosophical dialogue on the nature of love which marked the culmination of the very divisive ‘questione d’amore’ hotly debated in sixteenth-century literature. 

    £2800

  9. WEIDNER, Paul. 

    Sententiae Hebraicae ad vitae institutionem perutiles breviter explicatae, et praeclarissimis dictis tam sacrarum...

    Vienna, Michael Zimmermann, 1563.

    First edition; very rare.  A collection of Hebrew proverbs ‘very useful for the regulation of life’, with accompanying translation and commentary in Latin and German. 

    £2600

  10. GROUCHY, Nicolas de.

    Praeceptiones dialecticae, Nicolao Gruchio Rotomagensi authore. Disputatio eiusdem, quid de nomine dialectices...

    Paris, Gabriel Buon, 1563.

    Grouchy’s abstract of his lectures on logic and Aristotelian dialectic. Grouchy spent 12 years in Bordeaux (1535-47) as professor of rhetoric at the Collège de Guyenne (the top class was called “Classe de Rhétorique”), and his book became part of the Collège’s published syllabus for the two-year...

    £750

  11. DOLCE, Lodovico.

    Somma della filosofia a’Aristotele, e prima della dialettica. [with:] Somma di tutta la natural filosofia di...

    Venice, Giovanni Battista, & Marchio Sessa, & fratelli, [1565].

    First edition of this exposition of Aristotle’s dialaectics, moral, and natural philosophy by ‘one of the major transmitters of culture in cinquecento Italy’ (Ronnie H. Terpening, Lodovico Dolce: Renaissance Man of Letters, 1997).

    £5500

  12. DIOGENES LAERTIUS, [and Henri ESTIENNE (editor)].

    Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων...

    [Geneva,] Henri Estienne, 1570.

    First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, ‘in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne’. ‘The volume also contains thirty-six pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne,...

    £1400

  13. [ANDREAE, Johann Valentin.] 

    Reipublicae Christianopolitanae descriptio ... 

    Strasburg, heirs of Lazarus Zetzner, 1619. 

    A rare and influential Renaissance political utopia, in a fine sammelband of four first editions by the Lutheran humanist Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654). 

    £12500

  14. DONNE, John. 

    Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, and severall Steps in my Sicknes ... 

    London, Printed for Thomas Jones … 1627.

    Third (and last lifetime) edition of Donne’s most familiar prose work, composed during his convalescence in 1623–4 from the ‘spotted Feaver’ which nearly killed him.  It consists of twenty-three ‘Stationes, sive Periodi in Morbo’, each comprising a meditation, expostulation, and prayer. 

    £13500

  15. BACON, Francis, Sir

    Sylva sylvarum: or a naturall historie.  In ten centuries …  Published after the authors...

    London, John Haviland for William Lee, 1628 [1629]. 

    Second edition; first published in 1626 shortly after Bacon’s death.  ‘During his last years Bacon composed his utopia, the New Atlantis, and a natural historical work entitled Sylva sylvarum, meaning a collection of collections, a miscellany of subjects.  It is a vast compilation...

    £1200

  16. BACON, Francis.

    Francisci Baconi, Baronis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, operum moralium et civilium tomus … cura...

    London, Edward Griffin [and John Haviland] for Richard Whitaker [and John Norton], 1638.

    First edition, first issue, a copy from the celebrated Albani library: tangible witness to the early and fecund reception of Bacon’s thought in the circles of Galileian science in Italy.

    £4500

  17. JOHN OF SALISBURY. 

    Policraticus, sive de nugis curialium, et vestigiis philosophorum, libri octo.  Accedit huic editioni eiusdem...

    Leiden, Joannes Maire, 1639. 

    Attractive Maire edition of the two principal works of the twelfth-century scholar, diplomat, and bishop of Chartres, John of Salisbury, both completed by 1159 and dedicated to Thomas Becket. 

    £600

  18. GROTIUS, Hugo. 

    De veritate religionis Christianae, editio nova, additis annotationibus in quibus testimonia. 

    [Amsterdam, Jan Jansson?] ‘Juxta exemplar parisiense sumptibus Seb. Cramoisy’, 1640. 

    A pocket-edition of Grotius’s argument for the Christian religion; a very good copy with reading marks by the English pamphleteer Isaac Sharpe. 

    £275

  19. DESCARTES, René.

    Meditationes de prima philosophia, in quibus Dei existentia, & animae humanae a corpore distinctio, demonstrantur.

    Amsterdam, Blaeu, 1644.

    Remarkable sammelband gathering two important Descartes editions and two notable contemporary responses, by Descartes’ critic Gassendi and his admirer de La Forge; annotated in two early hands: an eloquent witness to seventeenth-century Dutch philosophical debate about certainty of knowledge, mind...

    £5500

  20. SPERLING, Johann.

    Anthropologia physica Johannis Sperlings Phys. Prof. Publ.

    Wittenberg, Johann Romner for Johann Berger, 1647.

    Uncommon first edition of this interesting philosophical and physiological work by the important German zoologist Johann Sperling (1603–1658).

    £675