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.
Mercantile contract between Sebastián de Baeza of Seville and Hernán López de Segovia, almost certainly relating...
Seville, 25 July 1576.
A commercial document from the heyday of Seville’s trade with the Indies. Drawn up for Sebastián de Baeza, a resident of the barrio of San Bartolomé in Seville, the document recapitulates a previous agreement of 25 June 1576 between, on the one hand, Hernán López de Segovia and, on...
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...
[ROYAL FISHERY COMPANY.]
A Collection of Advertisements, Advices, and Directions, relating to the Royal Fishery within the British...
London, printed for H.M. and sold by J. Whitlock, 1695.
First edition. The Royal Fishery Company, incorporated in 1662, had great trouble finding subscribers. Initially, Charles II offered £9000 as an incentive to investors but on these only raising £3680 he withdrew his undertaking, instead allowing a lottery to aid the Company’s fortunes. After attempts...
[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...
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...
Some general considerations concerning the alteration and improvement of publick revenues.
London, J. Roberts, 1733.
First edition of Walpole’s anonymous, persuasive defence of an excise to be levied by the government on tobacco and wines. Walpole urges calm in response to what he considers perfectly reasonable measures for the increase of public funds. Corrupt merchants were aghast at the threat of warehouse inspections,...
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...
A l’image S. Nicolas, sous les charniers des Saints Innocens, du côté de la Chapelle de la Vierge, la...
Paris, de l’imprimerie de la Veuve Lamesle, 1750.
An apparently unrecorded advertisement for the Parisian seamstress and shopkeeper Mademoiselle Garand, who operated nearby the Holy Innocents’ Cemetery in the centre of the city. Here she advertises hats, bonnets and nightcaps, shirt cuffs and sleeves, collars and handkerchiefs, made from all...
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...
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...
Livre utile aux négocians de l’Europe, contenant les réductions des argents dont ils...
Paris, chez Valade; Brussels, chez Emmanuel Flon, 1774.
Fascetto di pratiche matematiche spiegato alle persone popolari per uso del comercio umano, e civile, in questa...
Verona, Dionisio Ramanzini, 1780.
A lovely copy of the second edition, considerably augmented from the first of 1754, of this book of applied mathematical problems by the Veronese mathematician Gaetano Marzaglia (1716-1787), heavily influenced by the work of Wolff, who provides the motto to the book, and whose works he edited and expanded....
Tables of interest, from one pound to five hundred millions, for one day; by which the interest for any sum of money...
[Yarmouth], Printed for the author, and sold by Messrs. Robinson, London; and Downes and March, Yarmouth, 1786.
One of two editions published in 1786, the other one undated, ESTC does not give any precedence. Tables for calculating interest at a quarter, half, three-quarters, three, four, and five percent; intended as a quick reference for bankers and merchants. Hurry precedes his tables with four pages of example...
[GREAT BRITAIN: PARLIAMENT].
[Drop-head title:] ‘An act for repealing the several duties of customs and excise, and granting...
London, Charles Eyre and Andrew Strahan, 1787.
Rare first edition of the consolidation act that revolutionised British handling of customs and excise and the problem of smuggling, in line with Adam Smith’s 1776 recommendations.
FOSTER, John Leslie.
An essay on the principle of commercial exchanges, and more particularly of the exchange between Great Britain...
London, J. Hatchard, 1804.
First edition of a contemporary response to the Irish Currency Report of 1804 written by the Irish-born judge John L. Foster. The 1804 Irish Currency Report was a direct precursor to the more famous Bullion Report of 1810. Indeed, the former ‘…contains a large part of the doctrine later incorporated...
Enologia ovvero l’arte di fare, conservare e far viaggare i vini del regno.
Milan, Giambattista Sonzogno, 1820.
Second edition (first Milan, Silvestri, 1812) of a substantial description of viniculture in its entirety, including storage, transport and export. Dandolo was one of the leading Italian agronomists of the time. He promoted the culture of the potato, introduced modern silk production into Lombardy, and...
Thoughts and Details on the high and low Prices of the last thirty Years.
London, John Murray, 1823.
First edition of Tooke's first work, discussing the influence of climatic conditions and changing demand on agricultural prices. ‘During the three years which followed the Resumption Act of 1819 prices of nearly all commodities decreased, and the opinion that the fall in prices was the result of the...