Continental

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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.

 
  1. 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...

    £2500

  2. HAEFTEN, Benedictus van.

    Regia via crucis.

    Antwerp, Ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1635.

    First edition of an important counter-reformation devotional emblem book, with a title-page designed by Peter Paul Rubens. Haeften (1588-1648) was provost of the Benedictine abbey of Affligem, Belgium, and played an important role in the reform of the Benedictine order. The Regia via crucis was his most...

    £1100

  3. HERODIAN and ZOSIMUS.

    ΗΡΩΔΙΑΝΟΥ ΙΣΤΩΡΙΑΝΟΥ ΒΙΒΛΙΑ Η. Herodiani Histor. Lib. VIII. Cum Angeli Politiani...

    [Geneva]. Excudebat Henricus Stephanus Anno 1581.

    First edition thus, dedicated to Philip Sidney (1554-1586), who even at this date was beginning to achieve mythic status as the hope of Protestant Europe – a community for which Henri Estienne, a Huguenot exile in Geneva, was defiantly catering. Estienne had met Sidney at Heidelberg in 1573, and they...

    £1500

  4. HOOFT, Pieter Corneliszoon.

    Emblemata amatoria. Afbeeldinghen van minne. Emblemes d’amour.

    Amsterdam, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, 1611.

    First edition, complete with the rare accompanying collection of sonnets and songs (pp. 73–144), of one of the most important emblem books of the Dutch Golden Age and a masterpiece of Dutch literature by the prolific poet and dramatist Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft (1581–1648). All the emblems, illustrated...

    £12000

  5. HOOKER, Richard.

    Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, eight Bookes [Bound with:] Certayne Divine Tractates … London, Printed...

    … London: Printed by Will. Stansby, and are to be sold by Mat. Lownes … 1617.

    Fourth edition, first issue, of the Preface and Books 1-4 (first published in 1593), third edition of Book 5 (first published in 1597), bound here with the third edition of ‘Certayne Divine Tractates’ (1631), issued with a 1622 general title-page (rather than the usual 1632).

    £650

  6. HORACE.

    Opera omnia.

    Paris, A. Mesnier [printed by Didot fils with the type cut by Henri Didot], 1828.

    A scarce Miniature Book. “One of the typographical wonders and an unsurpassed feat as far as minuteness and beauty of type is concerned” (Spielmann 201).

    £600

  7. ILLUMINATED

    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...

    £750

  8. [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.

    £34000

  9. ISOCRATES.

    Orationes et epistolae gravitatis et suavitatis plenae de Greco in Latinum pridem conversae, nunc recognitae, per Hieronymu[m]...

    Paris, Michel de Vascosan, 1553.

    A handsome Latin edition of twenty-one works by the Athenian orator Isocrates (436-338 BC) whose work was highly influential on later education, oratory and writing. Isocrates studied under Socrates and the sophists, before establishing a famous school of rhetoric which attracted pupils from all parts...

    £750

  10. [ITALIAN.]

    [BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.] Il Libro delle Preghiere publiche ed Amministrazione de Sacramenti, ed altri Riti e Cerimonie...

    Londra, Appresso Moise Pitt Libraro … 1685.

    First edition of the first translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Italian. The project was begun by Edward Browne while chaplain to Sir John Finch in Constantinople, perhaps incorporating an earlier, unpublished translation by William Bedell (the manuscript being listed in Griffiths’ Bibliography...

    £1250

  11. JUVENAL.

    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).

    £6000

  12. JUVENAL AND PERSIUS.

    Satyrae.

    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...

    £950

  13. [KAFKA, Franz.]

    Almanach des Schocken Verlags auf das Jahr 5695.

    Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1934/35.

    Pp. 96-103 contain Kafka’s Aufzeichnungen über eine jüdische Wandertruppe, the description of his meeting with a troupe of Yiddish actors in the Café Savoy in Prague in 1911. This encounter was to have a profound effect on his writing. The passage was later published in an extended version in the...

    £180

  14. [KAMES, Henry HOME, Lord].

    Grundsaetze der Kritik, aus dem Englischen übersetzt, von Joh. Nikolaus Meinhard. Vienna, Johann Thomas...

    Vienna, Johann Thomas Edlen von Trattnern, 1785-6.

    A Viennese reprint of the first German translation of the Elements of criticism, by Meinhard with the approval of Lessing, first issued in 1763-66, instrumental in the dissemination and reception of Kames’s aesthetic theories in Germany and a seminal publication in the formation of pre-Romantic aesthetics.

    £450

  15. KERKHERDERE, Jan Gerard.

    De situ Paradisi Terrestris ... Praecedit... conatus novus de Cepha reprehenso ex Galatarum secundo capite.

    Louvain, Martin van Overbeke, 1729.

    First edition. Kerkherdere addresses the question of the location of the Garden of Eden, the earthly Paradise, accompanying his conjecture with a map engraved by P. E. Boultats of Antwerp; the perusal of various sources, geographical studies and toponymic considerations lead the author, an Imperial historian,...

    £800

  16. KING, Henry.

    A Sermon preached at St. Pauls March 27. 1640. Being the Anniversary of His Majesties happy Inauguration to his Crowne...

    London, Printed by Edward Griffin. 1640

    First edition of ‘a significant Accession day sermon’ (Oxford DNB) by the poet and royal chaplain Henry King, at this time Dean of Rochester, afterwards Bishop of Chichester. This sermon is a paean to the sovereign power of the King, taking as its text Jeremiah 1:10 (‘Behold, I have this...

    £350

  17. [KRAG, Niels, editor.]

    NICOLAUS, of Damascus. Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium libris excepta Iohannis...

    [?Heidelberg], Pierre de Saint-André, 1593.

    First edition thus. Comprises observations on the customs of different peoples (Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, Spartans and so on) from the Augustan historian Nicolaus of Damascus’ Universal history, only fragments of which have come down to us (in this case via Stobaeus). The text is printed...

    £400

  18. LE PELETIER, Laurent.

    Breviculum fundationis et series abbatum sancti Nicolai Andegavensis.

    Angers, Antoine Hernault, 1616.

    Rare first edition. This first appearance in print of documents relating to the foundation, history and abbots of the Abbaye Saint-Nicolas in Angers, in the Loire, is an important record since the original charters were dispersed and disappeared in the eighteenth century. The abbey was founded around...

    £1300

  19. [LEWIS, Thomas].

    English Presbyterian Eloquence: or, Dissenters Sayings ancient and modern. Collected from the Books and Sermons...

    London: Printed for T. Bickerton … 1720.

    First edition of a vehement anti-Presbyterian tract. The text comprises extracts from the work of contemporary Dissenting writers and politicians followed by Lewis’s own ‘Remarks’: ‘What vile Punning and Jingle is here, what a clutter about Melting and Ramming, and Firing, and Dismounting? Figures...

    £425

  20. LUTHER, Martin.

    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...

    £2500