An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

SMITH Adam (1789.)


Please contact us in advance if you would like to view this book at our Curzon Street shop.


Fifth edition. Three volumes. 8vo. x, 499, [1, blank]; vi, [6, Index], 518; v, [1, blank], 465, [1, Index], [50, Index] pp. Contemporary tree calf, sympathetically rebacked to style with flat spines elaborately panelled in gilt, second and fourth panels lettered in gilt on red and black morocco labels, the rest with decorative gilt stamps, marbled endpapers, yellow edges (neat contemporary initialed ownership inscriptions 'J.M.G.' pencilled inventory numbers to title pages of Vols. I and III, otherwise generally internally clean; rebacked, neat restoration to corners, covers slightly scuffed, still a very attractive copy). London, A. Strahan and T. Cadell. 

The first and greatest classic of modern economic thought, 'The Wealth of Nations had no rival in scope or depth when published and is still one of the few works in its field to have achieved classic status, meaning simply that it has sustained yet survived repeated reading, critical and adulatory, long after the circumstances which prompted it have become the object of historical enquiry' (ODNB).

Originally published in 1776, the fifth edition was the final edition to be published within Smith's lifetime. The text is the same, apart from some minor alterations necessitated mainly by the printer's misreadings, as the important third edition, which represented Smith's final version.

Provenance: neat presentation bookplates to front pastedowns of each volume to the German bank manager Dr Wilfried Guth (1919-2009) on the occasion of his retirement from Sir Evelyn de Rothschild in his capacity as Chairman of The European Association for Banking History.

Goldsmiths', 13794; Kress, B.1722; Tribe, 33; PMM, 221 (first edition).

Stock Code: 252170

close zoom-in zoom-out close zoom