Our Continental department specialises in incunabula, Greek and Latin classics, early vernacular imprints, and notable texts from the Renaissance, the Reformation and the early modern era, with a specific section devoted to medieval manuscripts, fragments and illuminations.
We regularly issue lists and catalogues, offering a wide variety of literary, historical and philosophical books printed in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, Eastern Europe and Russia. Woodcuts, early engravings, notable bindings, notable marginalia, rare manuscript or printed survivals, and books with a remarkable provenance are among our keenest interests, and feature regularly in our stock.
De civitate Dei.
Germany, ?Westphalia, c. 1300.
A handsome bifolium from a large folio copy of St. Augustine’s greatest work, a vindication of Christianity against pagan critics.
Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.
[Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].
Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia, was written...
Satyrae [with commentary by Domizio Calderini].
Vicenza, Henricus de Sancto Ursio, Zenus, 1480.
A heavily-annotated copy of the only edition of Juvenal’s Satires printed in Vicenza, the first book printed by Henricus de Sancto Ursio. It is the second edition of the Satires to contain Domizio Calderini’s commentary (first published in Venice in 1475).
ODO, Bishop of Cambrai.
Expositio canonis misse a dnomino [sic] odone cameracensi episcopo edita.
(Colophon:) Paris, Guy Marchant, 16 August 1490.
Very rare first edition of Odo’s twelfth-century treatise on the canon of the Mass, printed ‘in domo regalis collegii nauarre in campo gaillardi’ by Guy Marchant. Seven further editions appeared before 1500, including four more by Marchant. This copy has the misprint ‘dnomino’ in the title,...
[MANTUANUS, Baptista]. De patientia aurei libri tres. [bound with:]
CAPREOLUS, Helias. De confirmatione...
Brescia, Bernardinus de Misintis, 30 May 1497.
First edition of Mantuanus’s work containing -on recto of m3- a lengthy reference to America, one of the very few 15th century instances: a ‘mention of discoveries of islands in the Atlantic, noting their size and the fact that they are inhabited. Because none of the ancient geographers knew of them,...
GREGORY I, Pope (c. 540-604), (Gregory the Great).
Liber cure pastoralis divi Gregorii pape: in sole aureo vici Sorbonici Parrhisiis...
Paris, Ulrich Gering and Berthold Rembolt, 18 July 1498.
The Regula Pastoralis is Gregory’s set of instructions on the office and duties of the bishop, whom he regarded as a shepherd of souls. It is the key to Gregory’s life as pope, for what he preached he also practised. ‘In all likelihood he intended his Regula to be for the secular...
[INDULGENCE]. MILÁ, Luis de, Cardinal.
Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), beginning ‘A Honor …’ granted by Luis de Mila,...
Lérida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.
Printed at Lérida, the second city of Catalonia, about 100 miles inland from Barcelona: an indulgence granted by Luis de Mila, Bishop of Lérida, in favour of the living (as opposed to the dead; see below) to gather funds for the repair of the old Cathedral of Lérida.
INTITIAL from a manuscript Gradual or Antiphonal; initial 'U' painted in rose red with elaborate white tracery, the...
The stylized decoration and use of bright colours, including the deep blue grape motif, recalls the art of Ferrara at the end of the third quarter of the 15th century. Compare, for example, an initial in a Bible painted for the Este family by Taddeo Crivelli (active from 1451, died 1479) which is now...
Caii Julii Caesaris invictissimi i[m]peratoris co[m]mentaria seculor[um] iniuria antea difficilia et valde mendosa. Nunc...
(Colophon) Venice, Agostino Zani, 17 August 1511.
A handsome copy of the first illustrated edition of Caesar’s Commentaries published in Italy, adorned with charming half-page woodcuts at the opening of the De bello Gallico and De bello civili and with smaller vignette cuts at the beginning of each book. Describing Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul from...
DINKELSBÜHL, Nicolaus de.
Tractatus hoc volumine contenti: I. De dilectione dei et proximi. II. De preceptis decalogi. III. De...
Strassburg, J. Schott, 1516.
First edition of the Tractatus octo, comprising Dinkelsbühl’s famous De preceptis decalogi, an influential tract against superstition and diabolic magic; this is one of two variant titles, that in which the word ‘mortalibus’ is not abbreviated.
Richardi Sbrulii equitis Foroiuliani Cesareiq[ue] poete ad magnificu[m] atq[ue] illustrem Maximilianu[m] Seuenbergensem:...
[Colophon:] Augsburg, Hans von Erfurt, 1519.
First, very rare, edition, of Sbruglio’s Latin poems addressed to Maximilianus Transylvanus, published in the year that Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor. A native of Cividale in northern Italy, Sbruglio (c. 1480 – after 1525) studied and taught at Wittenberg (where the rector compared him to Ovid),...
ALBERTI, Leon Battista.
Momus [or De principe].
Rome, Jacopo Mazochi, 1520.
First edition of this political and social satire by the great Renaissance architect, theorist, scholar and man of letters, Leon Battista Alberti. There were two editions published in Rome in 1520, one (the present) by Jacopo Mazochi, the other by Étienne Guillery. Both carry papal privileges,...
(a). GOULET, Robert.
Compendium recenter editum de multiplici Parisiensis Universitatis magnificentia, dignitate, et excellentia,...
Paris, Toussaint Denis, 1517.
First edition of the first account of the University of Paris, ‘probably the earliest monograph on any university’ – E. P. Goldschmidt.
Eyn Sendbriff … uber die frage. Ob auch yemandt, on glawben verstorben selig werden müge &c. An Er Hansen von...
[Wittenberg, N. Schirlentz, 1522].
First edition, rare, of a momentous letter on predestination addressed by Luther to his friend Hans von Rechenberg. Luther meditates on the subject of predestination and salvation by faith; while firm in his notion of faith as a necessary requisite for salvation, he outlines the possibility that...
Epigram. libri magna diligentia nuperrime castigati adiectis doctissimis commentariis illustrium virorum Domitii Chalderini...
Lyon, Jean Moylin for Roman Morin, 4 April 1522.
A handsome early Lyon edition of Martial’s epigrams, with commentary by the fifteenth-century Italian humanists Domizio Calderini, Georgius Merula and Angelo Poliziano, illustrated with sixteen attractive woodcuts, and annotated by the seventeenth-century Spanish Cistercian scholar Miguel de Quiros.
Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum.
Cologne, [Hero Fuchs for] Peter Quentel, 1525.
RUPERT, of Deutz. De divinis officiis libri XII. [Cologne, Frans Birckmann,] 1526.
ALBERTI, Leon Battista.
Hecatomphila che ne insegnia l’ingeniosa arte d’amore. Deiphira che ne mostra suggir il mal principiato...
Venice, Giovanni Antonio et Fratelli da Sabbio ad instantia de Nicolo & Francesco Librari al Dolphin, 1528.
A combined edition of the Ecatomfila and the Deifira, Alberti’s two dialogues on love. They originally appeared separately in 1471, probably the first works of literature by a living author printed in Italian. They treat the vagaries of love from different perspectives. In the Ecatomfila,...
[MELANCHTHON, Philipp]. LAGUS, Konrad.
Oratio de Platone.
Wittenberg, [J. Klug], 1538.
Only edition, exceedingly rare (one copy only in the US), of the main extant source for Melanchthon’s views on Plato. ‘Melanchthon’s view of Plato is known primarily from a Latin speech, which he asked Conrad Lagus to deliver’ (Hartfelder).
De rebus a Iudaeoru[m] principibus in obsidione fortiter gestis, deq[ue] excidio Hierosolymorum, aliarumq[ue]...
Cologne, Jaspar Gennepaeus, 1544.
An early edition of this popular Latin account of the Jewish War of 66-73 AD, with a dedication by Philipp Melanchthon. The text borrows heavily from the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and is attributed in extant manuscripts either to Hegesippus –...
JUVENAL AND PERSIUS.
Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544 [i.e. 1545 (colophon)].
First edition thus, ‘the earliest attempt at printing variant readings in an edition of Juvenal & Persius’ (Schreiber). For this edition Estienne used the new italic type cut for him by Claude Garamond and inaugurated the year before with the first volumes of the nine-volume Cicero. ‘The text is...