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MARIE-ESPIRIT-LÉON WALRAS (1834-1910)

Details
MARIE-ESPIRIT-LÉON WALRAS (1834-1910)

Études d'économie politique appliquée (Théorie de la production de la richesse sociale). Lausanne and Paris: H. Valloton, Guex et Cie for F. Rouge and F. Pichon, 1898. 8° (215 x 142mm). Half-title. 4 folding lithographic plates by J. Chappuis after Walras, letterpress tables and line diagrams in the text. (Lightly browned.) Modern blue morocco-backed boards by Honnelaître, lettered in gilt on the spine, top edge gilt, original printed green wrappers bound in (small scuff marks on spine, light marginal fading to wrappers).

FIRST EDITION. Originally trained as a mining engineer, Walras unsuccessfully attempted a career as a freelance journalist writing on social reform. In 1860 he read a paper at an international conference on taxation in Lausanne to an audience which included Louis Ruchonnet, who subsequently became chief of the Canton of Vaud's Department of Education. In 1870 Ruchonnet established a chair of political economy at the University of Lausanne's faculty of law, and offered the position to Walras, who held it from 1870 to 1892. Among the articles collected in Études ... under the seven headings of 'Monnaie', 'Monopoles', 'Crédit', 'Banque', 'Bourse' and 'Esquissage d'une doctrine économique et sociale', Walras 'advocated a plan [for monetary reform] that linked up with actual practice in France in a
manner that was as ingenious as it was simple. Gold was to remain the
standard monetary metal and to be coined for private account without
limit. Silver was to be the material of token coins (billon) which, however, were not only to provide small change (billon
divisionnaire
) but also a type of legal-tender money that was to be used for the purpose of controlling the price level (billon
régulateur
): government was to expand its circulation when prices
were falling and to contract its issue when prices were rising'
(Schumpeter History of Economic Analysis (London: 1954), p.1079).
Only one other copy of this work is recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975.
Provenance
Neatly-erased ownership inscription on upper wrapper.
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. Y-72).
Special notice

Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at 20.825% of the hammer price for each lot with a value up to €90,000. If the hammer price of a lot exceeds €90,000 then the premium for the lot is calculated at 20.825% of the first €90,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of €90,000. Buyer's Premium is calculated on this basis for each lot individually.
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