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History of Ideas
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  • GODWIN, WILLIAM

    Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its influence on General Virtue and Happiness. London: Robinson, 1793

    FIRST EDITION. In Political Justice, his most famous work, Godwin responds to Burke’s attacks on the French Revolution and Thomas Paine. He applies the principles of the Revolution to inquire into the philosophical basis of government. Believing that political and social institutions are tyrannical and corrupt, Godwin calls for reason to guide human affairs and advocates individual liberty.

    $25,000

  • (Astronomy.)

    Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. Lyon, 1660s

    This fascinating 17th-century scientific manuscript documents the state of scientific knowledge and education in France in the years following Galileo’s trial and the Church’s prohibition of Copernican theory.

    $25,000

  • (HOLMES ,OLIVER WENDELL, Jr.)

    American Mahogany Butler’s Desk from the Holmes family home at 296 Beacon Street, Boston. American, ca. 1930

    Justice Holmes’s butler’s desk from the family home on Beacon Street.

    $22,000

  • (MAGNA CARTA.) Care, Henry, ed

    English Liberties, Or The Free-Born Subject’s Inheritance: Containing Magna Charta . . . The Habeas Corpus Act, And Several Other Statutes. Boston: Printed by J. Franklin, for N. Buttolph, B. Eliot, and D. Henchman, 1721

    FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. This volume, one of the very first law books printed in colonial America, contains the first American printing of Magna Carta and other fundamental documents of individual liberty in Anglo-American law. Magna Carta has become “a sacred text, the nearest approach to an irrepealable ‘fundamental statute’ that England has ever had” (Pollock & Maitland)

    $20,000

  • (HEBREW.)

    Women’s Manuscript Prayer Book in Hebrew. Scribe: Yechiel Menachem Ben Abraham Urbino. Italy, 1775

    This delicate and rare manuscript, prepared exclusively for women includes prayers for healthy and righteous children, a comfortable livelihood, the Mikveh, pregnancy, candle lightening, and the separation of Challah.

    $15,000

  • RAND, AYN

    Atlas Shrugged. New York: Random House, 1957

    FIRST EDITION. Presentation copy of one of the most popular and influential books of the 20th century.

    $11,000

  • SAMUELSON, PAUL

    Economics: An Introductory Analysis.. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948

    First edition of the greatest and most influential modern economics text-book. Inscribed by Samuelson for Eric Roll. Roll, professor of economics and later chairman of S. G. Warburg & Co., wrote the classic History of Economic Thought (1938, 4th ed., 1973).

    $8,500

  • MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT

    An Essay on the Principle of Population; or, a View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it Occasions.. London: J. Johnson, 1803

    Second edition, expanded to four times the length of the 1798 edition. This is the first edition to have Malthus’s name on the title and the first to present data supporting his argument that population increases geometrically while food increases only arithmetically.

    $7,200

  • KEYNES, JOHN MAYNARD

    General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. London, 1936

    FIRST EDITION of this classic of modern economics, “on which his fame as the outstanding economist of his generation must rest” (DNB). World-wide depression induced Keynes to re-examine classical approaches to economics. Urging the use of a national budget as a principal instrument of the planning of the national economy, Keynes placed responsibility for regulation of the economy squarely in the hands of the government.

    $7,200

  • SMITH, ADAM

    An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: Strahan and Cadell, 1791

    SIXTH EDITION of the most important book in the history of economics. One of 2000 sets. The sixth edition is the first to have been published after Smith’s death in 1790.

    $6,800