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.
ABSTEMIUS, Laurentius (i.e. Lorenzo ASTEMIO, or sometimes BEVILACQUA).
De quibusdam locis obscuris.
Venice, Bernardino Benagli, [n. d., but c. 1494.]
Editio princeps, indeed the only attested edition, of this rare incunable dealing with topics of classical philology and orthography.
ALBERTI, Leon Battista.
El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...
Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.
First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8-page Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).
Le ricchezze della lingua volgare sopra il Boccaccio ... Di nuouo ristampate, ricorrette, et ampliate dallo...
Venice, Paulo Gherardo and Comin da Trino, 1557.
The fourth Venetian edition of Alunno’s highly successful glossary of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Also known as Del Bailo, Alunno (1484-1556) received a scholastic and humanistic education in his native Ferrara before moving to Udine to teach arithmetic and calligraphy, and thence to Venice where...
Opera et tractatus.
Nuremberg, Caspar Hochfeder, 27 March 1491.
FIRST EDITION of the works of St. Anselm, Bishop of Canterbury: the first appearance in print, among other works, of his Proslogion, containing the first enunciation of the ontological proofs of the existence of God; this was also the first book printed by Hochfeder.
ANTONINUS OF FLORENCE, Saint.
Summa theologica [Pars II].
[Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, and Nicolaus de Frankfordia, 1474].
First edition; a large, crisp copy of a rare and important incunable. This was the first appearance of any part of Antoninus’s Summa theologica, or Summa moralis, an ambitious work in four parts exploring the entire field of moral theology; this, the Secunda, is the part which deals with the seven...
APULEIUS (Julien FLEURY, editor).
Lucii Apuleii Madaurensis Platonici philosophi opera interpretatione et notis illustravit...
Paris, Frederic Leonard, 1688.
First Delphin edition of the works of Apuleius, ‘une des meillures éditions qui soient dans la collection des Ad usum’ according to Brunet, comprising the Metamorphoses, his popularisations of Platonic philosophy, and excerpts from his lectures known as the Florida. The Delphin classics were a landmark...
Offenhertzige Bekäntniss, welche Bey unlängst geschehener Verlassung eines Academischen Amtes abgeleget worden.
[N.p., n.p.]Gedruckt im Jahr Christi 1698.
Very rare first edition of this work by the important German Protestant theologian and devotional writer Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714), written as an ‘Open-hearted confession’ following his resignation as professor of history at the university of Giessen. Having studied at Wittenberg, Arnold came...
St. Augustine, of the Citie of God: with the learned Comments of Io. Lod. Vives. Englished by J. H.
[London,] Printed by George Eld. 1610.
First edition in English of Augustine’s City of God, translated by the traveller and gentleman’s steward John Healey. ‘Our earliest treatise on the philosophy of history’, as Voltaire called it, City of God is a cornerstone of Western thought, pervading the whole of the Middle Ages,...
Le Cabinet du Roy de France, dans lequel il y a trois perles precieuses d’inestimable valeur: par le moyen...
[No place or printer], 1581.
First edition, first issue, of this harsh criticism of the debauched church and rotten nobility and the resulting bad finances of France, anonymously published by a well-travelled Protestant physician, and writer on alchemy who was to become an associate of the reformer Fausto Paolo Sozzini, better known...
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...
Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are...
Psyche: or Loves Mysterie in XX. Canto’s: displaying the Intercourse between Christ and the Soule …
London, Printed by John Dawson for George Boddington … 1648.
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults...
[BENEDETTI, Giovanni Battista.]
Difesa de’ missionarii cinesi della Compagnia di Giesù, in risposta all’apologia de’ PP....
‘.In Colonia. Per il Berges’, 1700
First edition of this substantial defence of the Jesuit position in the Chinese Rites Controversy. It is a rebuttal of Noël Alexandre’s Apologia de Padri Domenicani missionarii della China (published, also under a false Cologne imprint, in both French and Italian in 1699); Alexandre,...
La Bible, qui est toute la Sainte Escriture du Vieil et du Nouveau Testament. Autrement, l’ancienne et la nouvelle alliance....
London, R. Everingham for R. Bentley and J. Hindmarsh, 1687.
First complete edition of the Bible in French to be printed in England, in a fine Restoration binding. This Bible, in the French Geneva version, was published less than two years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (22 October 1685) which saw about 50,000 French Protestant refugees move...
Iacobi Blanchoni ucessiensis adversus Ludovicum beneventanum abbatem selestensem defensionum liber.
Lyon, Jean de Tournes, 1550.
First edition of a very rare work of sixteenth-century Lyonnese Neoplatonism, an elegantly-printed de Tournes edition. Ostensibly a simple series of remarks against the theses of the (presumably sternly Scholastic) abbot of Selestan, this is a tract of Renaissance moral philosophy. The theme of...
Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre und Religionswissenschaft in einer beurtheilenden Uebersicht.
Sulzbach, J.E von Seidels, 1841.
First edition of this critical summary of the greatest works of Bolzano, The Theory of Science and The Science of Religion, first published in four-volume sets in 1837 and 1834, copiously illustrated with citations from the original texts.
[BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.]
La Liturgie. C’est a dire, le formulaire des Prieres publiques, de l’Administrations des Sacreman;...
A Londres, pour Jean Dunmore & Octavien Pulleyn le Jeune … 1667.
First edition of this translation, printed for the use of ‘toutes les Eglisses Paroissiales & dans les Chapelles de Isles de Jersey, Guernsey, & autres Isles adjacentes’, as well as for the French congregation at the Savoy in London.
BOOK OF HOURS, Use of Rome.
Hore intemerate virginis Dei genitricis Marie.
Paris, Gilles Hardouyn, c. 1515.
An apparently unrecorded issue of a rare Book of Hours in narrow ‘agenda’ format, preserved in an unusual and elegant contemporary or near-contemporary binding. Brunet and Lacombe both describe a colophon on the last page, not printed in this copy; it repeats almost verbatim the imprint at...
Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus,...
First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against...
Precationes Biblicae sanctoru[m] patrum, illustrium viroru[m] et mulierum utriusq[ue] Testamenti.
Strasbourg, Johannes Schott, 1528.
First edition, rare. The earliest Protestant prayer-books, of which this is perhaps the most notable example, often comprised prayers taken directly from (or adapted from) the Bible. Brunfels’s Precationes Biblicae appeared in the same year in German translation (Biblisch Bettbüchlein...
Commentarii linguae Graecae ...
[Paris], Josse Badius, September 1529.
A nice copy of the first edition of Budé’s seminal study of the Greek language, dedicated to Francis I, and superbly printed by Josse Badius.