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’ 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. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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

  11. CHRYSOSTOM, John. 

    [Opera: Homeliae.]  Que in secundo Ioannis Chrisostomi volumine continentur: Super Mattheum homelie 89 …...

    Venice, Stagnino & de Gregoriis, 1503. 

    First edition of Chrysostom’s Opera omnia, the second volume (of two), annotated throughout by two critical readers. 

    £2800

  12. [GRICK, Friedrich.] 

    Fortalitium scientiae, das ist: die unfehlbare, volkommeliche, unerschätzliche Kunst aller Künsten und...

    [Nuremberg,] 1617. 

    First edition of this provocative tract on Rosicrucianism and alchemy presenting arguments both for and against the Order, purportedly written by the 562-year-old fictitious Rosicrucian, Hugo de Alverda. 

    £2850

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [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

  17. BACON, Francis.

    Opuscula varia posthuma, philosophica, civilia, et theologica, nunc primum edita. Cura & fide Guilielmi Rawley…...

    London, R. Daniel, impensis Octaviani Pulleyn, 1658.

    First edition, second issue (with the imprint R. Daniel, rather than R. Danielis) of this collection of the philosophical, political, and theological writings of Bacon, including numerous essays previously unpublished, and the first appearance of William Rawley’s biographical sketch of the philosopher....

    £1250

  18. DESCARTES, René, and Louis de la FORGE (editor).

    Tractatus de homine, et de formatione foetus.

    Amsterdam, Daniel Elzevir, 1677.

    First and only Elzevir edition, and the first edition of the better Latin text of Descartes’s Traité de l’homme. De homine ‘is the first work in the history of science and medicine to construct a unified system of human physiology that presents man as a purely material and...

    £1100

  19. DU RONDEL, Jacques. 

    La vie d’Épicure. 

    Paris, Antoine Cellier, 1679. 

    First edition of Du Rondel’s Life of Epicurus, a seminal work in the study of eighteenth-century Epicureanism; an important copy, from the distinguished library of Pierre-Daniel Huet. 

    £1750

  20. 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...

    £2850