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GALIANI, Ferdinando.

Della moneta.

Libri cinque.

Naples: Presso Giuseppe Raimondi, 1750 [but 1751] Stock Code: 127762
£8,250.00
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A crisp copy of this "masterpiece of analysis of value and prices"

First edition of this "groundbreaking work in monetary economics, a masterpiece of analysis of value and prices" (Books That Made Europe). This copy is in the second state with "vivere. Qual cosa adunque piu' giusta" on p. 31, later issue with six unnumbered pages at the rear, the last three dated 10 May, August, and September 1751.

Della moneta is the culmination of Galiani's (1728-1787) extensive monetary studies, published when the author was aged 22, and revealing "a large number of contributions putting him far ahead of his time" (Palgrave, p. 457). "Despite the variety of topics addressed in the book, the basic contributions concern value and monetary theory. Having defined value as a relationship of subjective equivalence between a quantity of one commodity and a quantity of another, Galiani argues that value depends on utility (utilitá) and scarcity (raritá) Galiani's stress is on value as a relative notion, not related to the intrinsic properties of commodities. This theoretical framework allows him to offer a lucid explanation of the so-called paradox of value; according to Schumpeter, he 'carried this analysis to its 18th-century peak. The main subject of Galiani's 1751 book, however, is money Galiani's analysis foreshadows a basic idea shown by recent research, that is, that money is a mechanism to avoid inconsistent claims on commodities on the part of individuals who are motivated by self-interest His important insight - that the commodities performing monetary functions should be of uniform quality and easily recognisable in order to bring about the reduction of transaction costs and the production of information - can be found in recent work on the subject" (Palgrave II, pp. 456-7).

As Sraffa explains, there are two states and two issues of Della moneta. One state has text on p. 31 (D4 in uncancelled state) which reads 'vivere. Non è dunque sempre degno di biasimo chi con grande stento etc'; another state reads 'vivere. Qual cosa adunque piu' giusta etc'. The earlier issue has only three unnumbered pages at the end (Books That Made Europe notes just a few known copies of this), rather than the six present in this later issue. Signature Bb3 is a cancel (stub present) and the leaves of gathering D are unconjugated (D4 with no stubs but the chain lines do not align, matching the Harvard copy discussed in Kress Italian).

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Description

Quarto (214 x 154 mm). Early 19th-century half calf, red morocco spine label, alternate single fillet and floral roll tooled in gilt to smooth spine, marbled boards, edges yellow.

Illustrations

Engraved title page vignette, head- and tailpieces, initials.

Condition

Light wear and a few minor knocks to extremities, front free endpaper slightly pulled at head leaving it hanging a little lower than book block, tiny ink spots to top margin of title page, evidence of removal of library stamp from same with corresponding browning, contents occasionally faintly foxed with a few small, neat ink marks to margins and the odd finger smudge. Overall a very good, crisp copy.

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