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. [QUESNAY, François].

    DU PONT DE NEMOURS, Pierre Samuel, editor. Physiocratie, ou constitution naturelle du gouvernement le plus...

    First edition of the ‘Bible’ of the Physiocrats and one of the most important and original works on political economy to be published before the Wealth of Nations. The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement on page 104...

    £37500

  2. 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

  3. ROUQUET, Jean-André. 

    The present State of the Arts in England.  By M. Rouquet, member of the Royal Academy of Painting and...

    London, for J. Nourse, 1755. 

    First edition in English, published in the same year as the French original, from the library of the great Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith (1723–1790). 

    £19500

  4. PETRARCH, Francesco. 

    Librorum Francisci Petrarche impressorum annotatio.  De ignorantia suiipsius et multorum liber I.  De...

    Venice, Simone da Luere for Andreas Torresanus de Asula, 27 March 1501. 

    Part one of the second collected edition of Petrarch’s Latin works (first Basel 1496), owned and annotated by the great Italian naturalist and physician Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605). 

    £16000

  5. PONTANO, Giovanni.

    De rebus coelestibus.

    Naples, ‘ex officina Sigismundi Mayr Germani : summo ingenio artificis Ioannetto Salodio : Antonio Vuerengrundt : Evangelista Papiensi :...

    First editions of three works on cosmology, ethics, and astrology by the Neapolitan humanist, poet, and polymath Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503), an important sammelband from the celebrated library of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605), professor of natural philosophy and natural history at the University...

    £12500

  6. 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’ sermons, owned and annotated by three contemporary Franciscans, one of whom, Andrea Alamanni, may be the confessor who administered Machiavelli’s last rites. 

    £8500

  7. THOMAS AQUINAS. 

    Secunda secunde sancti Thome de Aq[ui]no ordinis predicato[rum] novissime recognita, q[uam]pluribusq[ue] utilissimis...

    [Venice, printed by Giorgio Arrivabene for Ottaviano Scoto, 30 September 1513 (colophon).] 

    Two very rare post-incunables: early Venetian editions, gathered together in their first binding, of the Secunda Secundae and the Tertia parts of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, arguably the most pervasively influential philosophico-theological work of the Middle Ages. 

    £7000

  8. SENECA, Lucius Annaeus. 

    L. Annei Senecae opera, et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendu[m] utilissima, per Des. Erasmum...

    Basel, ‘in officina Frobeniana’, 1529 [(colophon:) Basel, Johann Herwagen, March 1537]. 

    Second Erasmus edition of the moral essays and letters of Seneca, owned and annotated by Ludovicus Carinus (d. 1569), friend and later foe of Erasmus himself. 

    £6000

  9. 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

  10. ERASMUS, Desiderius. 

    Paraclesis, id est adhortio ad sanctissimum ac saluberrimum Cristianae philosophiae studium … 

    Basel, Johann Froben, February 1520. 

    Attractive contemporary Erasmus sammelband, superbly eloquent in its physical union of three treatises without which the humanist’s Praise of Folly would risk gross misinterpretation. 

    £5500

  11. [COYER; VOLTAIRE; WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION.]

    ‘Recueil des Pieces’.

    France, 1744-1749.

    An extraordinary sammelband of 75 pamphlets – 27 of which are recorded in only 3 or fewer libraries on OCLC – mostly relating to successful French exploits throughout Europe during the War of the Austrian Succession, including the Dutch and Italian campaigns and the conclusion of the war.

    £5500

  12. SAY, Jean-Baptiste.

    Olbie, ou Essai sur les moyens de réformer les moeurs d’une nation.

    Paris, Deterville and Treuttel & Wurtz, ‘an VIII de la République’ [1799–1800].[bound with:][ANON]. Principes politiques, par F. M....

    Presentation copy with the author’s inscription of the rare first edition of Say’s utopia, written in response to a competition organised by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques on the question: ‘Quelles sont les institutions capables de fonder la morale chez un peuple?’. Say...

    £5000

  13. GASPAROLI, Carlo Maria.

    Dialectica sive manuductio ad logicam dictata a R. P. Bar. De Somere. Scripta a me Car. Mar. Gasparoli....

    Antwerp, 1753.

    A handsome manuscript comprising a thorough course in logic and dialectic, executed by a student at the Jesuit college in Antwerp, and illustrated with an extraordinary decorative programme inspired by printed emblems.

    £4750

  14. STEUART, Sir James Denham.

    The works, political, metaphisical, and chronological... now first collected by General Sir James Steuart,...

    London, T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1805.

    First and only edition of Steuart’s collected works, volumes I to IV containing the Inquiry into the principles of political Oeconomy, volume V containing Steuart’s various writings on money and coinage, volume VI his philosophical writings, together with anecdotes of his life.

    £4750

  15. BONET, Nicolas.

    Habes Nicholai Bonetti viri p[er]spicacissimi quattuor volumina: Metaphysicam videl[icet] naturale[m] phylosophia[m]...

    Venice, Boneto Locatello for the heirs of Ottaviano Scoto, 1505.

    First collected edition of the works of the French Franciscan Friar Nicolas Bonet (c. 1280–1343), owned and annotated by the Italian historian, biographer, and physician Paolo Giovio (1486–1552).

    £4000

  16. LEGGE, James. 

    The Chinese Classics: with a translation, critical and exegetical notes, prolegomena, and copious indexes … In...

    Hong Kong, at the author’s; London, Trübner & Co., 1861 [– 1865]. 

    First editions of the first four volumes of Legge’s monumental Chinese Classics, with parallel Chinese and English texts, detailed introductions, notes, and indexes. 

    £3750

  17. [SMITH, Adam.] [STEWART, Dugald.]

    Account of the life and writings of Adam Smith, LL.D. From the Transactions of the Royal Society...

    [Edinburgh? N.p. 1794?].

    First separate edition of the first ‘Life’ of Adam Smith, and one of only a handful of copies that were printed for limited private issue. A year later, it was incorporated into the Essays on Philosophical Subjects, and later in editions of the Wealth of Nations. Stewart (1753-1828) read the paper...

    £3750

  18. [HARRINGTON, James.]

    The commonwealth of Oceana.

    London, printed for J. Streater, 1656.

    First edition, first issue. ‘Oceana presents Harrington’s vision of the ideal state: an aristocracy of limited, balanced powers. Harrington believed that democracy is most stable where a strong middle class exists and that revolution is a consequence of the separation of economic and political power....

    £3750

  19. ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques.

    Du contract social, ou, Principes du droit politique.

    Milan, Pogliani, 1796.

    First edition printed in Italy, very rare, of Rousseau’s Contrat social.

    £3500

  20. 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 Galilean science in Italy. 

    £3500