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. ESTE, Rinaldo d’.

    Memoires de monsieur le cardinal Reynard d’Este, protecteur & directeur des affaires de France en cour de...

    Cologne, Henry Demen, 1677.

    Rare first edition of this memoir of the career of the influential Italian cardinal Rinaldo d’Este (1618-1673), compiled by one of his entourage who served with him for 16 years. Born in Modena, son of duke Alfonso III, Este was brought up in France, entered the church, and rose quickly. Elected cardinal...

    £500

  2. EUCHERIUS, Johannes (pseud.).

    Gratiarum actio. Wirtembergensibus et Tubingensibus verbi ministris; qui censuris Patriarche Constantinopolitani...

    Christopoli [i.e. Poznań, J. Wolrab], 1585.

    Very rare early imprint from Poznań, one of the oldest and most important cities in Poland, a Catholic stronghold. There Johann Wolrab, Nikolaus’ eldest son, founded the second city printing press in 1579. Gratiarum actio had first appeared in 1584 in two productions printed in Krakow and Poznań,...

    £800

  3. FISHER, John.

    Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum.

    Cologne, [Hero Fuchs for] Peter Quentel, 1525.

    RUPERT, of Deutz. De divinis officiis libri XII. [Cologne, Frans Birckmann,] 1526.

    £2750

  4. [FITZ-PATRICK, Robertus, translator, probably pseud.]

    The sacred History of the Holy Sheet. Collected from grave Authors, and translated...

    London: Printed for M. Cooper … 1745

    First edition of what appears to be the first book in English devoted to a description of the Turin Shroud and its history, curiously combining a sympathetic text with a heavily ironic, anti-Catholic preface, particularly anti-European Catholics. Can the preface have been influenced by the events of...

    £750

  5. [FROBEN, Johannes].

    Portrait, after Holbein the Younger, showing the scholar-printer half-length, to right, black fur-lined dress,...

    The original of this celebrated portrait is lost, and it only survives in copies. There is one at Hampton Court, for example. See the account in Oliver Miller, Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian Paintings in the Royal Collection, 1963. There are two copies in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung at Basel (357, 1910).

    £12000

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. [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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [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

  17. 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

  18. [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

  19. [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

  20. 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