London: John Murray, 1816.
London: Printed for John Murray, 1816.
First edition, uncut. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author (?) on the half-title: “From the Author.” Octavo. , 126, [1, blank], [1, printer’s imprint], [4, advertisements] pp.
Modern antique-style calf. Occasional light foxing. Housed in a custom full brown morocco clamshell, gilt-stamped.
“In August 1815...P. Grenfell, an influential speaker on financial questions, asked Ricardo to help him in his Parliamentary battle against what he regarded as the excessive profits of the Bank of England. Ricardo, who thought the Bank as ‘an unnecessary establishment getting rich by those profits which fairly belong to the public’...responded positively and by September had written a pamphlet, Proposals for an Economical and Secure Currency, which was published in February 1816, shortly before the debate on Grenfell’s motion on the Bank. This pamphlet contained a detailed account of his plan to make the Bank of England resume cash payments by making its notes convertible to gold ingots, instead of coins. This would have allowed Britain to go back to the gold standard, but to use paper as the actual means of payments. This plan Ricardo had first outlined in the Appendix to The High Price of Bullion, and submitted to both Government and Opposition...It was to receive much attention in 1819, when the decision was taken to return to a gold standard, and it was in fact adopted, and implemented in 1821, when the resumption of cash payments actually took place...It gave Ricardo a long-lasting fame” (The New Palgrave IV, pp. 184-185).
This is a particularly scarce pamphlet. The last copy to come up at auction other than this copy was in 1979. We located no other inscribed copies of any Ricardo title at auction, going back to 1915.
Kress B.6787. Goldsmiths’ 21537. Franklin and Legman, p. 3.