London: Printed for the Author and sold by Hooper, Whiston etc. 1772.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003609
4to (266 x 210 mm). , xii,  iv-v , 464,  pp. including advert leaf at end, woodcut tailpieces. Contemporary diced calf, spine with 4 raised bands, rich gilt decoration and gilt-lettered red morocco label (joints split but cords holding, boards scratched, extremities rubbed, corners worn). Text bright, crisp and clean, light pencil annotations throughout (mostly shaved and offsetting to opposite page), very minor occasional spotting (title stronger), final 2 leaves with repaired tear at inner margin. Provenance: Daniel Conner (bookplate to front pastedown). ----
FIRST EDITION, AND EXTREMELY RARE, of "Mortimer's most important work" (Palgrave II, 824). It was later reprinted with a preface in which Mortimer accuses Adam Smith of plagiarism. "Mortimer studied modern history and elocution before serving as English viceconsul for the Austrian Netherlands. His series of Lecutes on trade in the early 1770s formed the basis of his Elements of Commerce . . . , [in which he] described the intersection between his experiences, methods, and conclusions: A necessity therefore arises of reducing those arts and sciences . . . to certain concise elementary principles. . . On this foundation, and animated by this encouragement, (this) Editor . . . ventured to pursue the same plan; and having diligently collated, and accurately selected, from the best writers of every nation, the fundamental principles of [Commerce, Politics and Finances], he had the honour to attend several of the young nobility and gentry of this kingdom, in the capacity of private tutor; inculcating, in the form of private lectures, a theoretical and practical knowledge of commerce, politics and finances. A few years attention . . . naturally brought with it improvements, drawn from observations on the practicable part of commerce; on the political state of Europe in general; and on the extension of public credit, and of the funded system in England and France during the late war; at the close of which, the Editor being appointed to an honourable station abroad [British vice-consul for the Austrian Netherlands] had a favourable opportunity, in the course of five years residence, to collect and add to his plan, some modern improvements in the commercial and political departments, and also respecting the administration of the public revenues of different states on the continent" (N. F. Koehn, The Power of Commerce: Economy and Governance in the First British Empire, 2018, pp. 69-71). The economist Thomas Mortimer (1730-1810) is also known for first documenting the financial terms 'bull' and 'bear', in use in London at that time. Bibliography: Kress 6882; Goldsmiths 10836; Higgs 5444. - Visit our website to see more images!
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