Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Traité de la Circulation du Crédit (A Treatise on the Circulation of Credit) ["ONE OF THE GREAT DOCUMENTS IN THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL ECONOMY"]

Amsterdam: Marc Michel Rey, 1771. First Edition. 8vo, xvi, 128, [8: "Etat des Finances en Angleterre"], 129-384, [2: errata; blank]pp. Woodcut ornaments; 4 half-titles. Collation: *8, A-H8, *H4, I-Z8, Aa8, [chi]1 (= 205 leaves). Contemporary marbled calf (lightly rubbed at extremities), gilt-tooled spine with raised bands, gilt morocco lettering piece; edges stained red; marbled endleaves. Small patch of marginal (damp?) staining to bottom corner of first 15 and final 10 leaves; signature Aa mildly embrowned, else text crisp and clean throughout. Overall a very good copy.

Rare complete first edition of "one of the great documents in the history of political economy" (EJ). In addition to the brief discursus on English finances, inserted between the second and third parts of the main treatise, our copy includes the usually missing supplement (pp. 369-384) "Addition au Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit... Mémoire pour la suppression du Belasting," along with the concluding errata leaf.

The present Treatise is a refutation of the physiocrats, who had advocated a primarily agricultural economy. Arguing against Hume, de Pinto seeks to defend the economically productive role of the national debt, which he sees exemplified in the current British system. While Marx notoriously described de Pinto as "the Pindar of the Amsterdam stock exchange" for his advocacy of speculation, Werner Sombart regarded him as the "beginner of the modern age of economics, and the first to understand the growth of credit" (EJ). De Pinto's other works include Essai sur le luxe and Du jeu de cartes, both reprinted in the present work, and the later Precis de arguments contre les matérialistes (The Hague, 1774).

The main treatise is divided into four parts, followed by six brief works: 1. Lettre sur la jalousie du commerce (Letter on the Jealousy of Commerce); 2. Tableau ou Exposé de ce qu'on appelle le Commerce, ou plutôt le Jeu d'Actions, en Hollande (A Presentation of What is Called Commerce, or the Game of Actions, in Holland); 3. Methode, dont on se sert en Hollande pour faire la perceptions des taxes, & des impôts sur les biens fonds; & comment on en verse le provenu dans la Caisse de l'Etat (The Method Used in Holland to Collect Duties and Real Estate Taxes and How the Proceeds Are Payed into the State Treasury); 4. Essai sur le luxe (An Essay on Luxury, first printed at Amsterdam, 1762); 5. Lettre de l'autheur à Mr. D. sur le jeu des cartes (The Author's Letter to Mr. D[iderot] on Card Playing, first printed at London, 1768); 6. Mémoire pour la suppression du Belasting, ou Impôt sur les Actions de Compagnie des Indes Orientales (A Memorandum for the Suppression of the "Belasting" or Tax on the East India Company Shares). The final opuscule, which appears in relatively few copies of the Traité, is published here for the first time.

Isaac de Pinto (1717-1787) was the scion of a wealthy Sephardic family which traced their origins back to Portugal and had emigrated to the Dutch Republic. "He had a broad education and had mastered many languages, in which he corresponded with famous philosophers and maintained contact with the European elite of his day, including the court of the Dutch stadholder. In 1748 he helped to finance Stadholder William IV's war against France" (Bernfeld & Wallet). "For his services in arranging favorable terms for English trade in India at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War (1756-63), Pinto was lavishly rewarded by the East India Company a few years later (1767)" (EJ). His correspondents included David Hume and Denis Diderot. De Pinto made a name for himself when he responded to Voltaire's mocking article on the Jews, which appeared in the latter's Dictionnaire Philosophique, with his Apologie pour la nation juive (Amsterdam, 1762). Presenting himself as a proud Portuguese, he argued that "Voltaire had neglected to draw a distinction between the often wealthy Sephardim, with their refined manners, and the Ashkenazim, whom he regarded as far poorer and sometimes unprincipled, as a result of persecution and economic misery" (Bernfeld & Wallet). Very Good. Item #53117

Barbier 4: 752; T. L. Bernfeld & B. Wallet, Jews in the Netherlands: A Short History (Amsterdam Univ. Press, 2023), p. 89; Enc. Jud. 13: 553-554; Goldsmiths' 10792; Kress 6812.

Full title and Imprint: Traité de la Circulation et du Crédit. Contenant une Analyse raisonnée des Fonds d'Angleterre, & de ce qu'on appelle Commerce ou Jeu d'Actions ; un Examen critique de plusieurs Traités sur les Impôts, les Finances, l'Agriculture, la Population, le Commerce &c. précédé de l'Extrait, d'un Ouvrage intitulé Bilan général & raisonné de l'Angleterre depuis 1600 jusqu'en 1761 ; & Suivi d'une Lettre sur la Jalousie du Commerce, où l'on prouve que l'intérêt des Puissances commerçantes ne se croise point, &c. avec un Tableau de ce qu'on appelle Commerce, ou plutôt Jeu d'Actions, en Hollande. Par l'auteur de l'Essai sur le Luxe, & de la Lettre sur le Jeu des Cartes, qu'on a ajoutés à la fin. A Amsterdam, chez Marc Michel Rey. MDCCLXXI.

Price: $10,000.00