Sale 22BP03 | Lot 200

SMITH, ADAM An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
SMITH, ADAM  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

Lot Details

Lot 200
SMITH, ADAM An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
[London: printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1778] but this copy sophisticated with the title-pages of the first edition reading London: printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776; that in the first volume possibly in very good facsimile. Second edition (and the last issued in quarto), one of about 500 copies printed, with the second edition half-title in the second volume (N.B. the date of 1778 is offset onto the verso of this half-title from the original second edition title-page with which it was conjoined, which must have been switched out when this copy was bound, likely in the 1920s), the collation conforming to the second edition, and with the second edition errata leaf. Two volumes, handsome green straight-grain morocco in period style, spines elaborately gilt, all edges gilt, broad dentelles, marbled endpapers; protected in cloth cases. 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (27 x 22 cm); [8], 510 pp.; [4], 587 pp. Light wear, a handsomely bound example, well protected the cloth cases which are now partially imperfect; internally the copy generally very fresh, though as noted above, a sophisticated copy, combining apparent first edition title-pages with the second edition text, sold as is.

Of the true first edition, PMM states "the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought." In the 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). The second edition appeared two years later, and was issued in a smaller edition than the first. For the first: Goldsmith 11392; Grolier English 57; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897.


C The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $12,600 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

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Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $12,600 (includes buyer's premium)

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Fri, Dec 16, 2022 at 10am EST