Spring 2022 Catalogue

New Acquisitions Spring 2022 – 47 – Bauman Rare Books “The First And Greatest Classic Of Modern Economic Thought” (PMM) 51. SMITH, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London, 1786. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown tree calf gilt, later red morocco spine labels. $12,000. 1786 edition (fourth edition overall) of Smith’s landmark work on the individual’s right to the free exercise of economic activity, this edition published only ten years after the very rare first edition, a beautiful copy in contemporary tree calf. Wealth of Nations was an immediate success when first published, and only four additional editions came out during Smith’s lifetime. The 1776 first edition is exceptionally rare. On publication of the first American edition, three years after this major English edition, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “In political economy I think Smith’s Wealth Of Nations the best book extant.” In February 1786 Smith wrote to his publisher: “I beg you will employ one of your best compositors in printing the new edition of my book. I must, likewise beg that a compleat [sic] copy be sent to me before it is published, that I may revise and correct it.” This edition “is printed in the same style and with exactly the same pagination” as the 1784 first octavo edition. It is the first London edition to incorporate the significant additions, revisions and corrections first made by Smith in that edition, with a few alterations in wording (Library of Economics Liberty). Bound without half titles. ESTC T96679. Goldsmiths’ 13148. Kress B1129. Interior generally fine, beautiful contemporary tree calf with expert restoration to joints and spine. “Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things.”