London, South Kensington
30 November 2001
LAW, John (1671-1729). Considerations sur le commerce et sur l'argent, The Hague: Jean Neaulme, 1720.
8° (161 x 88mm.), engraved portrait, title printed in red and black, with the last 9 leaves of bookseller's advertisements (lightly browned throughout), contemporary mottled calf (rebacked, original gilt panels of spine preserved).
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH of Law's explanation of 'The System' which had grown from his being allowed by the Regent, the Duke of Orleans, to open the first bank in France (and to issue paper money), to his enormous Mississippi Scheme which controlled all France's foreign trade. At the same time he was given a free hand to reorganise France's taxation system and in February 1720 the Company of the Indies (which had grown out of the Mississippi Scheme) was united with the Royal Bank, making 'The System' complete. Ultimately, though ruinous to most individual investors, 'The System' gave a great stimulus to the exhausted French economy and reinvigorated its industry and agriculture. Goldsmiths' 5820; Kress 3235.
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