Continental

Contact Alex Day, Barbara Scalvini, Andrea Mazzocchi or Jonathan Harrison

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. MABLY, Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de.

    Observations on the Romans. Written originally in French …

    London: Printed for R. Griffiths … 1751.

    First English edition of this Roman history (first published in the same year in Geneva as Observations sur les Romains). Mably studies episodes from the pre-imperial era (the seven kings, Gracchi and Punic wars), before skimming the vast majority of imperial dynastic rule to finish with a chapter...

    £875

  2. [MAFFEI, Giovanni Pietro, and Emanuel ACOSTA.]

    Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volumen.

    Naples, ‘apud Horatium Salvianum’, 1573.

    Third and best edition of the earliest detailed history of the Jesuit missions in the East, especially Japan. Included for the first time in this edition are five pages of Japanese characters in printed facsimile, ‘Specimen quoddam litterarum vocumque Japonicarum; desumptum e regis Bungi diplomate’...

    £12000

  3. [MANTUANUS, Baptista].

    [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,...

    £10000

  4. MARTIAL.

    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.

    £1500

  5. [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).

    £5000

  6. MELA, Pomponius.

    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...

    £35000

  7. MENDELSSOHN, Moses.

    Jerusalem oder über religiöse Macht und Judenthum.

    Frankfurt and Leipzig, n. p., 1787.

    First posthumous edition, originally published in 1783 by Friedrich Maurer in Berlin, of this later work by Mendelssohn (1729–1786), in which he supports religious and political toleration, and advocates separation of church and state and civil equality for Jews. The work was reprinted as recently as 2001.

    £250

  8. MILNER, Joseph.

    Practical Sermons, by the late Rev. Joseph Milner, M. A. Master of the Grammar School, and Vicar of the Holy Trinity...

    York: Printed by G. Peacock; and sold by Mathews … London; Deighton, Cambridge [and others in York, Hull, Leeds and Halifax]. 1800.

    First edition, rare, collecting 21 sermons with a biography of Milner (1745-1797), headmaster of Hull Grammar School and church historian. Milner was largely responsible for a revival in fortune of the Grammar School, where he took charge in 1767. As a clergyman he leaned towards a moderate Calvinism...

    £175

  9. MORI, Ascanio de’.

    Giuoco piacevole.

    Mantua, Giacomo Ruffinello, 1575.

    First edition of a rare Renaissance collection of tales in prose and verse.

    £2750

  10. MUSSI, Antonio.

    Disegno di lezioni e di ricerche sulla lingua ebraica. Prefazione recitata nella adunanza della R. Università...

    Pavia, Bolzani, [1792].

    First edition of this rare history of the Hebrew language. Including a preface delivered as a lecture at the University of Pavia, the first part of the work discusses Hebrew grammar, noting its consanguinity with other Eastern languages, including Greek, Syriac, Ethiopic and Arabic. Choosing standard...

    £500

  11. [NAUDÉ, Philippe, attr.

    author]. Histoire abrégée de la naissance & du progrez du Kouakerisme avec celle de ses dogmes.

    Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1692.

    First edition of the earliest work on the Quakers to be published in French. In his survey of English Quakerism the author gives voice to widespread contemporary English criticisms of the movement, radicalizing the charge of Socinianism into one of ‘pure deism’ and ultimately atheism.

    £1000

  12. NEPOS, Cornelius.

    De vita excellentium imperatorum. Interpretatione et notis illustravit Nicolaus Courtin ... in usum serenissimi...

    Paris, Frères Barbou, 1726.

    An attractive later Delphin edition (first 1675) of the surviving biographies of the first-century BC Roman writer Cornelius Nepos. Part of an original series of ‘Lives of famous men’ (De viris illustribus), the surviving biographical sketches, mostly of generals, include Themistocles and Hannibal....

    £275

  13. NEW AND COMPLETE FAMILY PRAYER-BOOK (THE),

    or Church of England Man’s Divine Library: being an universal Illustration, Commentary,...

    London: Printed for Alex. Hogg … [1784-5.]

    First edition thus, rare, published in 36 weekly parts, each originally accompanied with an illustration, and now correctly bound according to the complicated ‘Directions to the Binder’ at the end. Wright’s exhaustive compilation, with notes and commentary on each page, assembled calendars, the...

    £950

  14. 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,...

    £3500

  15. [ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY]. NATHANAEL, Abbot, compiler.

    Kniga o vere edinoi istinnoi pravoslavnoi [Book of the one true Orthodox...

    Moscow, Stefan Boniface, 1648.

    First edition, very rare, of a book of Orthodox liturgy and theology. Beginning with prayers, this is a compilation of writings on all aspects of the Orthodox tradition, including a variety of polemical treatises against heretics, Catholics, and traitors to the Orthodox faith, some of which has been...

    £7500

  16. PALEY, William.

    Caution recommended in the use and application of scripture language. A sermon preached July 15, 1777, in the Cathedral...

    Cambridge, printed by J. Archdeacon for T. & J. Merrill (and others), 1777.

    First edition. A sermon (on 2 Peter iii, vv. 15–16) preached by Paley, author of the celebrated Evidences of Christianity (1785), at the invitation of Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle. ‘Paley’s connection with the Law family greatly advanced his clerical career. He regularly spent vacations with...

    £250

  17. PAPPUS, Johannes.

    Defensiones duae, quibus D. Ioannis Sturmii rectoris Antipappis duobus respondetur, Maiori, & Epitomico. De charitate,...

    Tübingen, Georgius Gruppenbachius, 1580.

    Rare first edition of Pappus’s most important work in his pamphlet war with Johannes Sturm over the Lutheran Formula of Concord and its imposition in Strasburg. Pappus (1549-1610) studied in Tübingen and Basel before becoming professor of Hebrew and then of history at Strasburg. In 1578 he was appointed...

    £950

  18. PEZEL, Tobias.

    Postill, Dat is, Uthlegginge der Evangelien so up de Sondage und Göttlike feste in der gemene Gades.

    Bremen, Thomas de Villiers, 1617.

    Very rare first and only edition of this Reformed Postilla in Low German, translated by Tobias Pezel, the preacher and theologian son of another famous Reformed theologian and promoter of the Confession in Nassau and Bremen, Christoph Pezel.

    £2750