• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 1160

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    20 November 2013, London, King Street

  • Lot 128

    SMITH, Adam (1723-90). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    SMITH, Adam (1723-90). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.

    2 volumes, 4° (269 x 270mm). With the half-title only in volume II, as issued, and the final blank in volume 1, adverts printed on verso of last leaf in volume II. (Occasional light scattered spotting, this mainly in the first and last few leaves.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, the spines with raised bands, gilt in compartments with floral tools, red and green morocco double-lettering pieces, the sides with a gilt double-fillet border, mottled turn-ins, edges red (the sides with light soiling and light scuffing). Provenance: Charles William Vane, third marquess of Londonderry (1778-1854, army officer, diplomatist; bookplate).

    FIRST EDITION. 'THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF MODERN ECONOMIC THOUGHT' (PMM). An excellent copy in a handsome contemporary binding. In his Wealth of Nations Smith 'begins with the thought that labour is the source from which a nation derives what is necessary to it. The improvement of the division of labour is the measure of productivity and in it lies the human propensity to barter and exchange... The Wealth of Nations ends with a history of economic development, a definitive onslaught on the mercantile system, and some prophetic speculations on the limits of economic control' (PMM). Goldsmiths' 11392; Grolier English 57; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897.


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