Human Sciences

Contact Private: 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. [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 The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement on page 104...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. ANTONINUS FLORENTINUS.

    De censuris et De sponsalibus et matrimonio.

    Venice, Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 23 September 1474.

    A beautiful copy of the first edition of these two treatises on excommunication and marriage by Antoninus (1389–1459), Dominican friar and Archbishop of Florence (from 1446), taken from book III of his great work, the Summa theologica moralis, which was not printed in its entirety until 1485.

    £9500

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. LOCKE, John.

    [An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding]. Extrait d’un Livre Anglois qui n’est pas encore publié, intitulé...

    Amsterdam, Wolfgang, Waesbergi, Boom, & Van Someren, 1688.

    A substantial and extremely influential extract, published two years before the appearance of the book, of Locke’s Essay concerning human understanding: a publication of major consequence in the history of philosophy. This issue of the Bibliothèque universelle et historique also contains at least...

    £4000

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. [LOCKE , John].

    Du Gouvernement Civil, où l’on traitte de l’origine, des fondemens, de la nature, du pouvoir, & des fins des...

    Amsterdam, Abraham Wolfgang, 1691.

    First edition in French of Locke’s Essay concerning the true original extent and end of civil government, one of the most famous and influential works in the history of liberalism, which had originally appeared the previous year as the second of the Two Treatises of Government (1690). The anonymous...

    £3500

  14. MILL, John Stuart.

    The Subjection of Women.

    London: Longmans, Green, 1869.

    First edition of ‘the last of [Mill’s] great political tracts’ (ODNB), one of the most important and controversial treatments of women’s rights in the nineteenth century. Mill was heavily involved in the women’s suffragette movement, and in this work he argued ‘that the principle which...

    £3400

  15. [CATHERINE II, Empress of Russia].

    Le Czarewitz Chlore. Conte Moral. De main impériale & de maitresse.

    Berlin, Fréderic Nicolaï, Lausanne, François Grasset, 1782.

    First edition, very rare, of a speculum principis of the Enlightenment, by one of the time’s most enlightened monarchs. Le Czarewitz Chlore is a moral tale written by Catherine II of Russia for her two grandsons, the future Alexander I and his younger brother Constantine, while their father and mother,...

    £3000

  16. GIZZI [or GITTIO], Andrea Giuseppe.

    Lo scettro del despota, overo del titolo, e dignità dispotale, discorso istorico,...

    Naples, G. Raillard, 1697.

    Only edition of this extraordinary and rare study of legal, ceremonial, and political roles of the despot, a class of prince akin to a king and beneath an emperor in the power structures of both the Byzantine world and Renaissance Italy, and thus a title used both in Venice and throughout the...

    £3000

  17. 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

  18. MORE, Thomas.

    The Common-wealth of Utopia: containing a learned and pleasant Discourse of the best State of a publike-Weale, as...

    London, Printed by B. Alsop & T. Fawcet, and are to be sold by Wil: Sheares … 1639.

    Fifth edition of More’s Utopia in English, translated by Ralph Robinson – the last edition of his translation, first published in 1551, and revised in 1556. Alsop printed a corrected edition in 1624, with a dedication to More’s grandson, Cresacre More, which is reprinted here.

    £2500

  19. KANT, Immanuel. 

    Opera ad philosophiam criticam.  Volumen primum, cui inest Critica rationis purae Latine vertit Fredericus Gottlob...

    Leipzig, Engelhard Benjamin Schwickert, 1796.

    First Latin translation of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, extensively annotated by a contemporary critical hand.

    £2500

  20. BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques.

    Principes du droit naturel.

    Geneva, Barrillot & fils, 1747.

    First edition of the first work, bound with a very early edition of the second work. The Droit politique was first published posthumously in 1751 as the necessary companion to the Droit naturel; when in contemporary bindings, they are sometimes found together in various combinations...

    £2500