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LA JONCHERE, Étienne Lécuyer de.

Systême d'un nouveau gouvernement en France. Tome I [-IV].

Le Prix des quatre Volumes est de cent livres en Argent, & de quatre cent livres en Billets de Banque.

Amsterdam : Chez François le Bon, 1720 Stock Code: 116257
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"Au nombre des réformateurs principaux qui, après Boisguillebert et Vauban, se sont occupés de l'amélioration des institutions financières de l'ancienne France, il faut placer La Jonchère"

First edition of a very rare work by La Jonchère, one of the most original works of political economy of the 18th century.

Writing after the death of Louis XIV in 1715, La Jonchère puts forward a detailed and comprehensive plan of financial reform. Although he "expressly denies having followed Vauban's Dixme Royale, he starts from the same initial principle... He advocates one sole tax, to be paid without privilege or exemption, by all Frenchmen without distinction, to consist of a percentage collected in money or in kind, on the general produce of the ground, mines quarries, etc., by a 'Compagnie du Commerce', to be formed for the purpose. This company was to have the monopoly of foreign trade, its shares being given as reimbursement of the price of all the offices sold by the king's predecessors and of the capital of the rents due to towns or individuals. The corn collected by the company was to be sold at a permanently fixed price. The company was also to be entrusted with the recoinage and 'diminution' of the metallic currency, which were to bring it down to what... La Jonchère calls its 'intrinsic value.'" (E. Castelot in Palgrave).

Unlike Vauban and Boisguilbert, La Jonchère sought not simply to find a fiscal system to meet the enormous debts left by Louis XIV, but also to find a solution to the general misery of the people. According to Alphonse Callery, La Jonchère wasted little time criticising earlier authors (though he does indeed criticise the work of Boisguilbert and of Vauban); what he proposes is a complete fiscal system, and with the precise detail of his plan, it is easy to see that he is no dreamer, but a clear minded thinker, with a well established understanding of mathematical concepts.

An engineer by training, he had travelled extensively both in France and abroad, accumulating precious documents on financial administration. The book was printed between 1718 and 1719 (though dated 1720) and presented to the Regent as a gift. It is suggested that the book's rarity is due to the fact that John Law stole many of the ideas for his own financial system, and destroyed as many copies of the book as he could to hide the fact.

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4 volumes bound in 2, duodecimo (162 x 90 mm). Contemporary French red morocco, boards with decorative roll border and centrally stamped coat of arms (see below), spines elaborately decorated and lettered gilt in compartments, gilt edges. From the library of Louis-Antoine de Paraillan de Gondrin, first duke of Antin, with his coat of arms to each board. Housed in a burgundy flat back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.


4 folding engraved tables.


Very discreet repairs to joints and spine ends, title pages to volumes III and IV discarded; tear to the first folding table repaired without loss; printed on mixed paper stock, a few spots and stains, one or two short marginal tears and some leaves browned, generally very good in an excellent contemporary binding.


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