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,

    in Latin, with parts of Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis (Migne, Patrologia Latina 38, cols. 963–4)

    Germany, 11th 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 music for the blessing of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.

    Southern Germany or Bohemia, mid-15th 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

  3. [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

  4. 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

  5. ITALY – MONTEPULCIANO.

    Notarial register of Mei, notary public of Montepulciano.

    Italy (Montepulciano), September – November 1345.

    Fragments from a notarial register of Montepulciano compiled shortly before the Black Death.

    £2000

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. JUSTINUS, Marcus Junianius, and Lucius FLORUS. 

    [Epitome historiarum:] Justini historici clarissimi in Trogi Pompei historias...

    [Venice, Bartolomeo Zani, 3 February 1503]. 

    A thoroughly annotated copy of a greatly influential compendium of Trogus’s monumental forty-four-book Historia of the world from Babylon to the Augustan era. 

    £3800

  16. [JACOBUS DE GRUYTRODE, (attr.)]. 

    Lavacrum conscientie [omnium sacerdotum]. 

    [Colophon:] Cologne, Heinrich Quentell, 1504.

    Rare edition of this popular late medieval treatise widely ascribed to the Carthusian monk Jacobus de Gruytrode (c. 1400–1475). 

    £750

  17. [THOMAS À KEMPIS.]

    Messer Giovanni Gerson. Utile & divota operetta della imitatione di Giesu Xpo …

    Florence, Piero Pacini da Pescia, 16 April 1505.

    Scarce edition of an anonymous Italian translation of the Imitatio Christi, with a striking woodcut of Christ to the title.

    £4000

  18. ZENO of Verona, Saint

    In presenti opusculo infrascripta continentur.  Sermones luculentissimi …  Omelie & admonitiones...

    Venice, Giacomo Penzio for Benedetto Fontana, 24 January 1508. 

    Rare first edition of the sermons of Zeno of Verona, edited by Guarino and published here along with the sermons of Caesarius of Arles and Origen, and other homiletic material, especially Marian. 

    £1500

  19. [CARTHUSIANS.] 

    [GUIGO DE CASTRO, compiler.]  Repertorium statutoru[m] ordinis cartusiensis per ordinem alphabeti. 

    Basel, Johann Amerbach, 1510. 

    First printed edition of the Statutes of the Carthusian Order, printed at the expense of the editor, Gregor Reisch (c. 1467–1525), author of the Margarita philosophica, for distribution to members of the Order only. 

    £8000

  20. PEROTTO, Niccolò, and Benedetto BRUGNOLO, editor.

    Cornucopi[a]e nuper emendatum a domino Benedicto Brugnolo: ac...

    [Milan], Giovanni Giacomo and brothers da Legnano [for Giovanni Angelo Scinzenzeler, 28 October 1510 (colophon).]

    Scarce Milanese edition of Perotto’s Cornucopiae, an encyclopaedic commentary to the first book of Martial’s epigrams, here with a curious combination of woodcut initials and capital spaces with guide letters.

    £1750