Continental

Contact Alex Day, Andrea Mazzocchi, Jonathan Harrison or Sally Deegan

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. [HOMILIARY.]

    Homiliary, in Latin, with parts of Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis (Migne, Patrologia Latina 38,...

    Germany, eleventh century.

    The first leaf here contains parts of sermon 178 from Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis. Chapter six of the sermon is based on Ecclesiasticus 31,8 and part of 31,10: ‘Blessed is the rich that is found without blemish, and hath not gone after gold’, and ‘Who might offend, and hath not...

    £1750

  2. ANTIPHONAL,

    with neumes, containing antiphons, responses and versicles for Trinity Sunday, the Octave of Pentecost, Sundays after...

    Germany, 1st half of 12th century. 

    Two bifolia from a notably early antiphonal. 

    £5000

  3. [ANTIPHONAL.]

    Very large historiated initial ‘H’, probably for the antiphon Hodie nata est beata virgo Maria for the Nativity...

    Italy (Siena), c. 1300.

    A very fine large initial painted in a style associated with the Master of the Gradual of Cortona, an artist named for a Franciscan gradual produced c. 1290 for the church of San Francesco in Cortona (now Vatican City, BAV, MS Ross. 612).

    £6750

  4. [GRADUAL.]

    Vast historiated initial ‘A’ cut from a Gradual.

    Italy (Umbria), end of thirteenth century.

    A spectacular initial on the scale of a small panel painting. The verso includes the text ‘[neque] irrideant me inimici mei […] [un]iversi qui te expectant’ and the versicle ‘Vias tuas domine de[monstras]’, indicating that the initial would have introduced the introit ‘Ad te levavi...

    £20000

  5. JOHN DE BURGH.

    Pupilla oculi.

    England, c. 1400.

    John de Burgh’s Pupilla oculi was a handbook of canon law and pastoral theology for parish priests. It was mainly derived from the Oculus sacerdotis by William of Paull (or Pagula), written in 1320–28, and was probably composed c. 1380–85, when for part of that time John de Burgh...

    £1750

  6. PONTIFICAL-MISSAL,

    Use of Luçon, in Latin, with readings for the Fourth Week of Lent and Holy Thursday in the Temporal;

    France (Paris), late fourteenth century.

    A rediscovered leaf from the Missal of Etienne de Loypeau, bishop of Luçon, with a miniature by the so-called Master of Death and border decoration attributable to the ‘A Master’ of the Belles Heures of the Duc de Berry.

    £17500

  7. [ANTIPHONAL.]

    Antiphonal, with neumes, containing music for the blessing of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.

    Southern Germany or Bohemia, mid-fifteenth century.

    An unusual and striking antiphonal leaf written entirely in red and notated entirely in burnished gold, signalling the importance of the text for Holy Saturday.

    £4250

  8. [HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR.]

    Royal order in French authorising payment to various officials engaged in raising a levy (‘aide’) at...

    Paris, 30 March 1415.

    A royal order to pay officials involved in raising a levy at Avranches, issued a few months before the battle of Agincourt.

    £1750

  9. CORRADO III TRINCI, Lord of Foligno.

    Letter in his name in Italian to Cipriano, ‘lieutenant of the territory of Trevi’,...

    Foligno, 9 February, no year but c. 1430s.

    The family of the Trinci ruled over Foligno, first as independent princes and then as vicars of the church from 1305 to 1439. The sender of the present letter is probably the third Corrado, last of the dynasty, ‘detested for his cruelty’ (Litta, Celebri famiglie Italiane vol. I fasc. 6,...

    £600

  10. [MISSAL.]

    Missal, in Latin, with readings for the first Sunday in Advent.

    Southern Netherlands or northern France (Arras?), c. 1425.

    A remnant of what must have been an exceptionally grand missal, with illumination of considerable finesse. We have been unable to trace any other leaves from the same manuscript.

    £3250

  11. BORSO D’ESTE, Duke of Modena, Duke of Ferrara.

    Letter in his name in Italian, addressed to Feltrino Boiardo.

    Modena, 3 July 1453.

    A letter from early in Borso d’Este’s rule as first Duke of Modena. It is addressed to the condottiero Feltrino Boiardo, instructing him to raise taxes from the territories of Casalgrande, Dinazzano and Montebabbio for the support of a brigade of men-at-arms.

    £750

  12. LACTANTIUS.

    Opera.

    [Venice,] Vindelinus de Spira, 1472.

    Magnificent incunable edition of the works of Lactantius, a fine product of the first Venetian press, established in 1469 by Johannes de Spira and continued by his brother Vindelinus from 1470 until 1473. This was the fifth impression of the works of Lactantius, the hugely successful North African...

    £25000

  13. AUGUSTINUS TRIUMPHUS [i.e. AUGUSTINUS de Ancona].  

    Summa de potestate ecclesiastica.

    Augsburg, [Johann Schüssler,] 6 March 1473.

    First edition of this highly important and influential magnum opus of political theory, a defence of papal supremacy.

    £22500

  14. PIUS II (Nicolaus von WYLE, editor). 

    Epistolae familiares. 

    Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 17 July 1486. 

    Second Koberger edition of the Epistolae familiares of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (1405–1464), the great Renaissance humanist who became Pope Pius II in 1458, a handsome copy enhanced with manuscript additions comprising epistolary models, a German-Latin wordlist, and medical recipes. 

    £7500

  15. DEZA, Diego de.

    In defensio[n]es Sancti Thomae ab impugnationibus magistri Nicholai Magistrique Mathie.

    Seville, Meinardus Ungut and Stanislaus Polonus, 4 February 1491.

    First edition, institutionally rare and the only copy to have appeared at auction for at least the last half century, of the influential main work of theologian Diego de Deza y Tavera (1444–1523), a towering figure in the Spanish Renaissance.

    £50000

  16. [PROCESSIONAL, Dominican use.]

    Processionarium ordinis fratrum praedicatorum.

    Seville, Meinardus Ungut and Stanislaus Polonus, 3 April, 1494.

    First edition of the first Spanish book to make extensive use of typeset music printing, one of the finest products of early Spanish typography.

    £35000

  17. [INDULGENCE.] 

    Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), incipit ‘A Honor …’, granted by Cardinal Luis de Milá,...

    [Lerida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.] 

    Extremely rare incunable indulgence in Catalan granted by Luis de Milá, 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, printed at Lérida, the second city of Catalonia, about one hundred miles...

    £34000

  18. MACROBIUS, Ambrosius Theodosius.

    Somnium Scipionis ex Ciceronis libro De republica excerptum; Macrobii … primi diei Saturnaliorum...

    Venice, Filippo Pinzi, 29 October 1500.

    Sixth and last incunable edition of Macrobius, illustrated with a world map, with extensive early marginalia.

    £9500

  19. URCEO, Antonio [or Codro]. 

    Hoc Codri volumine haec continentur.  Orationes, seu sermones ut ipse appellabat.  Epistolae. ...

    Bologna, Giovanni Antonio Benedetti, 7 March 1502. 

    First edition of a quintessential piece of Italian humanism, annotated by a sixteenth-century reader particularly interested in the philology of the texts. 

    £3000

  20. VIRGIL; Sebastian BRANT, editor. 

    Publii Virgilii Maro[n]is opera. 

    Strasbourg, Johann Grüninger, 28 August 1502. 

    First illustrated edition of the works of Virgil, one of the great German woodcut books of the Renaissance, with over 200 illustrations by the artist known as the Late Master of the Grüninger Workshop.

    £20000