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A Discourse of Trade, Coyn, and Paper Credit:

And of Ways and Means to Gain, and Retain Riches. To which is added the Argument of a Learned Counsel, upon an Action of the Case brought by the East-India Company against Mr. Sands an Interloper.

Published: London: For Brabazon Aylmer, 1697

Stock code: 93457

Price: £5,500

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First edition. John Pollexfen (1636-1715), a successful merchant and economist, served on numerous government bodies, his most important appointment being to the Board of Trade from 1696 to 1707. The Discourse is a “complete exposition of his views on trade and money” (Palgrave). “Pollexfen’s economic writings were a by-product of his public career… Although Pollexfen did recommend that bonds and bills be assignable, he devoted much space to asserting the importance of retaining physical coin and denouncing the expanded role of paper money. Like Locke, he thought that silver had an innate value and that the standard of coin must be invariable. He regarded labour as the sole source of wealth and accordingly supported immigration. He recognized the importance of the domestic trade, which he wished to free from restrictions. In opposition to Child, he argued that the rate of interest was determined not by legislation but by the requirements of trade and the quantity of coin and capital” (ODNB).

Octavo (171 110 mm). Contemporary unlettered sprinkled calf, blindstamp rule border to covers, preserved in a custom made cloth box. Contemporary attribution to Defoe handwritten on title. A contemporary handwritten edge label pasted to inside front board, now loose. Joints cracked, but cords holding, spine ends and corners worn. Pastedowns not stuck down, rear free endpaper torn away. Occasional minor spotting. A very good copy.

Bibliography: Goldsmiths' 3401; Kress 2041; Masui, p. 17; Matsuda 2838; Wing P2778.

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