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  • Smith's Wealth of Nations first edition to beat $77,500 estimate?
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • NationsofSmith'sWealth

Smith's Wealth of Nations first edition to beat $77,500 estimate?

Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is regarded as one of the founding books of modern economics.

And next week a first edition of the Scottish author's work is coming to auction in his homeland.

Adam SmithWealth of Nations
Another example sold for $75,000 last year

The tome, which was published in 1776 following a 10-year writing process, will appear at Edinburgh's Lyon & Turnbull on September 4 with a £50,000 ($77,463) high estimate.

This valuation seems fair, considering another example of the pioneering work sold for $75,000 at PBA Galleries in the US last year.

Lyon & Turnbull commented: "[Smith] challenged the prevailing mercantilist economic philosophy - in which people saw national wealth in terms of a country's stock of gold and silver and imports as a danger to a nation's wealth - arguing that in a free exchange both sides became better off.

"Quite simply, nobody would trade if they expected to lose from it. The buyer profits, he argued, just as the seller does. Imports are just as valuable to us as our exports are to others.

"Because trade benefits both sides, Smith said, it increases our prosperity just as surely as do agriculture or manufacture.

"A nation's wealth is not the quantity of gold and silver in its vaults, but the total of its production and commerce - what today we would call gross national product."

The Rare Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction will also feature a handwritten and signed letter from Charlotte Bronte, which has a £12,000 ($18,587) high estimate.

Take a look at the rare books and manuscripts you can buy at Paul Fraser Collectibles today.

We will bring you a full round up of the auction next week.

  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • NationsofSmith'sWealth