We stock Western books in European languages, generally – but not exclusively – published before circa 1850. We are especially interested in early travel accounts – from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries – in all areas beyond Europe.Geographical regions in which we have tended to specialise include the Pacific and its surrounding countries – South America, the Northwest Coast of America, Japan, China, the maritime regions of Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia, and Australia. Books on Africa, the polar regions, manuscripts and separately published maps are also handled.
VENUSTI, Antonio Maria.
Compendio utilissimo di quelle cose, le quali a nobili e christiani mercanti appartengono.
Milan, Giovan Antonio degli Antonij, 1561.
First edition, containing Discorso d’intorno alla Mercantia and Trattato del Cambio di Lione o di Bisenzone and Trattato de’ Cambi, and including the Italian translation of Saravia de la Calle’s Institutione de’ Mercanti.
A Treatise of Commerce, wherin are shewed the commodies [sic] arising by a wel ordered, and ruled trade, such as...
Very rare first edition. With a long authorial presentation inscription on the initial blank to a fellow Merchant Adventurer:
DELLA TORRE, Raffaele.
Tractatus de cambiis.
Genoa, Pietro Giovanni Calenzano, 1641.
First edition of this monumental work on all aspects of the problems of exchange and bills of exchange by the Genoese politician, jurist and historian, Della Torre (1579-1667). Described by the economic historian De Roover as marking ‘l’apogée de l’école scolastique’, the Tractatus is remarkable...
La theorie et la pratique des nombres. Methodiquement proposes dans l’usage des financiers.
Paris, [Jean Bessin] for the author, 1644.
First edition. A rare practical mercantile arithmetic handbook for financiers and tax farmers. The work, beginning with the mathematical ‘alphabet’ of 10 numbers, covers basic arithmetic, as well as more complicated quadratic roots, rules, discounts, change and exchange, all illustrated with numerous...
THE RATES OF MERCHANDISE,
That is to say, the Subsidy of Tonnage, Subsidy of Poundage, and the Subsidy of Woollen Clothes or Old-Drapery,...
London, Edward Husbands and Thomas Newcomb, 1660.
Printed descriptions of the import duties on wine and merchandise appeared in England as early as 1545. This later edition is one of the first editions after the lifetime of Charles I, who levied the duties without the authority of parliament. Printed at the instigation of the House of Commons, it was...
Idea mercaturae. Darinnen was von der Kauff-Leute Commercien, Credit und Glauben, Fallimenten oder Banckrotten,...
[Bremen, Erhardt Berger, 1661].
First edition, very rare, of the first dictionary solely related to business.
A discourse of trade. By N. B, M. D.
London, Thomas Milbourn for the author, 1690.
First edition of the author’s major work, in which Barbon foreshadows the ‘real’ analysis of saving, investment and interest of the Classical economists. ‘There is no bridge between Locke and the monetary interest theories of today. Instead, there was a new departure, which was to be so successful...
[ROYAL LUSTRING COMPANY.]
The Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, to whom the Petition of the Royal Lustring-Company...
London, E. Whitlock, 1698.
First edition; a French version appeared the same year. Since its foundation in 1688, the Royal Lustring Company (importers of ‘lustrings’ or ‘alamodes’ – a fine, light, glossy, black silk) had enjoyed special monopolistic privileges which it had exploited to the full. However, by the end...
A new discourse of trade, wherein is recommended several weighty points relating to companies of merchants. The...
London, T. Sowle, 1698.
Third edition with this title. The work first appeared as a short pamphlet in 1668 (Brief observations concerning trade, and interest of money); this was considerably expanded in the second edition of 1690 (A discourse of the nature, use, and advantages of trade) and reprinted in 1693, 1694 and 1698...
The case of Jeronimy Clifford, merchant and planter of Surinam. Paper, No. 160.
[London, n.p., 1711].
First extended account of Clifford’s long-running legal battle with the Dutch West India Company in Surinam over Corcabo, his sugar plantation. The earlier publications had been just four pages long; this work furnishes us with plantation account details and testimonies, chronologically arranged with...
[LONDON ASSURANCE CORPORATION.]
By-laws, orders, and rules, for the good government of the corporation of the London assurance....
London, n.p., 1722.
First edition of the by-laws of the London Assurance Corporation, which, along with The Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, was constituted and granted sole rights, excepting private individuals, to the granting of assurance and bottomry by ‘The Bubble Act’ of 1720. The right to self-govern, reflected...
RUFFO, Tommaso, Cardinal.
Ferrara, stamperia Camerale, 1728.
A rare document, announcing the price rates for grain and bread set by Tommaso Ruffo, Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina and Bishop of Ferrara, with tables offering prices for the years 1712-1726. The commodity rates are divided first according to the quality of the grain and then by the weight of bread loaves....
The instructor: or, young man’s best companion…to which is added the family’s best companion…
London, for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, [not before 1735].
Second edition, (first, 1727). ‘Volumes entitled The Young Man’s companion exist in many versions and go back to the 1680s when William Mather produced the first of them. They are compendiums of useful information, intended for self-improvement. They concentrate on English, Mathematics, including...
Sir Isaac Newton’s tables for renewing and purchasing the leases of cathedral-churches and colleges, according...
London, printed for Thomas Astley, 1742
Sixth edition, first published in 1686, this issue was sometimes also published with a separate title page and imprint reading, ‘The money’d man’s pocket-book’, London, 1742’ immediately preceding the title-page of the second part. A series of tables calculating the amounts owed on leases based...
An Inquiry into the revenue, credit, and commerce of France. In a letter to a member of the present parliament.
London, J. Roberts, 1742.
First editions. These three pamphlets all stem from the debate in the House of Lords of 1 June 1742 on the Trade & Navigation Bill. They all hinge on a single aspect of the debate – whether France could fund another war from her export and import revenues.
Great-Britain’s true system: wherein is clearly shewn, I. That an increase of the public debts and taxes...
First edition of the last published work of that eighteenth-century British Mercantilist ‘whose vision was undiluted by vestiges of humanitarism’, most famous for his Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce (1751-1755), which was twenty years in the making (The New Palgrave).
The case of authors by profession or trade, stated: with regard to booksellers, the stage, and the public. No matter...
London, R. Griffiths, 1758.
First edition, ‘the first protest raised in the eighteenth century against the treatment of authors and dramatists by booksellers and theatre managers’ (ODNB). From this work Isaac D’Israeli extensively quoted (without acknowledgement) in his Calamities of authors, and it is very likely that Oliver...
[VIVANT DE MEZAGUES].
Bilan général et raisonné de l’Angleterre, depuis 1600 jusqu’à la fin de 1761; ou Lettre à M. L....
[Paris, n.p.,] 1762.
First edition, very rare: ‘The object of the “letter” is to show that the wealth and trade of England were not greater than that of France. With this view the author examines into the balance of trade between England and other countries (including Ireland), the national income and debt, exchanges,...
Betydande frågor om handelen, wid tilfålle af de motsäjelser, som skedde emot den sista billen, om utlänningars...
Stockholm, Jon. G. Langes [colophon: N. v. Oelreich], 1763.
First Swedish edition, scarce, of this history on the treatment of foreign residents in Britain, Reflections on the Expediency of a Law for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants (1751–1752). This book comprises only the main body of Part II (1752), ‘Important Queries occasioned by The Rejection...
A Six Weeks Tour, through the Southern Counties of England and Wales. Describing, particularly, I. The present...
London, W. Nicoll, 1768.
First edition. ‘Young’s own estimate of this book is that it is one “in which for the first time, the facts and principles of Norfolk husbandry were laid before the public”, but important as these facts were ... the book is more valuable than Young would have us believe. It laid before the public...