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 The excessively rare ‘Pékin’ imprint was printed in very small numbers and swiftly withdrawn because of a statement on page 104...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

  5. [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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. [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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. NEWTON, Isaac.

    Opuscula Mathematica, philosophica et philologica. Collegit partimque Latine vertit ac recensuit Joh. Castillioneus...

    Lausanne and Geneva, Bousquet & soc., 1744.

    First edition of Newton’s collected works, a major tool in the dissemination of Newton’s science and a major publication in the history of science.  The edition, edited and introduced by the Pisa alumnus Giovanni Salvemini da Castiglione, contains twenty-six works (which, while having appeared...

    £3500

  19. [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

  20. 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