30 April 2008
SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
2 volumes, 4° (270 x 220 mm). Half-title in volume II only as issued. Cancels: M3, Q1 U3, 2Z3, 3A4 and 3O4 in vol. I & D1 (slightly loose) and 3Z4 in vol. II. Publisher's advertisements on verso of 4F2 in vol. II. (Occasional scattered spotting to gatherings 2Z, 3I and 3N1-2 in vol. I & C-D2, T-U, 2R and 2U in vol. II; small tear to top margin of 3A3, without loss, not affecting text; paper flaw to 3C1 resulting in 5.5 cm vertical tear just touching fore-edge of text , but without loss; leaves 4B2-3 and 4C2-3 misbound in vol. II.) Contemporary tree calf, spines with raised bands in 6 compartments, red morocco gilt lettering piece in second compartment, numbered in gilt on oval red morocco label in fourth compartment, FFF gilt stamp to sixth compartment (spines and corners expertly repaired and furbished, extremities and joints just a fraction rubbed, otherwise a fresh, crisp unsophisticated copy). Provenance: Francis Ferrand Foljambe (binding).
FIRST EDITION OF 'THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF MODERN ECONOMIC THOUGHT' (PMM). 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). Goldsmith 11392; Grolier English 57; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897. (2)
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