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.
A single folio leaf (389 x 281 mm.), containing Luke XVII:23–XIX:13 (leaf 230 of volume 2), double column, 42...
[Mainz: Printed by Johann Gutenberg & Johann Fust, c. 1450-1455, not after August 1456.]
A fine single paper leaf from the first substantial book printed with movable type in the western world, now known simply as the Gutenberg Bible or the 42-line Bible.
[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...
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.
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.
ANTONIUS de Vercellis.
Sermones quadragesimales de XII mirabilibus Christianae fidei excellentiis [with additions by Ludovicus...
Venice, Johannes and Gregorius de Gregoriis, de Forlivio, [for Alexander Calcedonius], 16 February 1492/93.
A remarkable copy of the first edition of Antonius de Vercellis’ sermons, owned and annotated by three contemporary Franciscans, one of whom, Andrea Alamanni, may be the confessor who administered Machiavelli’s last rites.
[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.
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...
De disciplina scholarium cum notabili commento. Colonia [with commentary of pseudo-Thomas Aquinas].
[Cologne, Heinrich Quentell, 5 March 1498.]
Extensively annotated copy of a rare incunable edition of the popular Medieval treatise On the Care and Training of Scholars, consistently mis-attributed to Boethius since its first appearance in the thirteenth century until the end of the fifteenth.
Librorum Francisci Petrarche impressorum annotatio. De ignorantia suiipsius et multorum liber I. De...
Venice, Simone da Luere for Andreas Torresanus de Asula, 27 March 1501.
Part one of the second collected edition of Petrarch’s Latin works (first Basel 1496), owned and annotated by the great Italian naturalist and physician Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522–1605).
URCEO, Antonio [or Codro].
Hoc Codri volumine haec continentur. Orationes, seu sermones ut ipse appellabat. Epistolae. Silvae....
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.
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.
[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).
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.
[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.
Secunda secunde sancti Thome de Aq[ui]no ordinis predicato[rum] novissime recognita, q[uam]pluribusq[ue] utilissimis...
[Venice, printed by Giorgio Arrivabene for Ottaviano Scoto, 30 September 1513 (colophon).]
Two very rare post-incunables: early Venetian editions, gathered together in their first binding, of the Secunda Secundae and the Tertia parts of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, arguably the most pervasively influential philosophico-theological work of the Middle Ages.
SENECA, Lucius Anneus.
Tragoediae pristinae integritati restitutae, per exactissimi judicii viros post Avantium & Philologum …
Paris, Badius Ascensius, 1514.
First edition edited by Erasmus and Badius Ascensius, a landmark in the history of Seneca’s textual tradition. This key work, the product of a collaboration between two wholly committed humanists, cannot have been accomplished without some friction: Erasmus had allowed Badius to make use of...
[CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]
Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...
Paris, Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, .
Rare edition, attractively printed and with occasional contemporary annotations, of Cicero’s Philippics, comprising Cicero’s text along with the commentaries of the Cretan humanist George of Trebizond (1396–1486), the Bolognese rhetorician Filippo Beroaldo (1453–1505), and the Perugia...
PLUTARCH [and Jodocus BADIUS Ascensius (editor)].
Vitae … novissime … longe diligentius repositae, majoreque...
Venice, Melchiorre Sessa [the elder] & Pietro Ravani, 26 November 1516.
First substantially illustrated edition of Plutarch’s Lives, with signs of early reading. First published in this popular translation in Paris in 1514 by French scholar-printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462–1535) in collaboration with Jean Petit, the text is here accompanied by seventy-eight...
SENECA, Lucius Annaeus (attr.).
Liber ad Gallione[m] de remediis fortuitorum.
[Leipzig, Jacobus Thanner, 1517.]
An extensively annotated copy of a very rare early sixteenth-century edition of this successful tract of moral philosophy. Whilst its entire manuscript tradition was unanimous in attributing this work to Seneca, and eminent scholars with a profoundly intimate knowledge of Senecan philosophy...
PELBARTUS de Themeswar.
Pomerium sermonum de Sanctis per anni circulum tam hyemalium quam estivalium, vulgate per venerabilem...
Nuremberg, Johann Koberger, August 1519.
Handsome early editions of two collections of sermons by Pelbartus of Themeswar, an exceptional volume with an additional manuscript sermon, bound at the monastery of Bronnbach using fragments from three medieval manuscripts.