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. ANTONINUS FLORENTINUS.

    De censuris et De sponsalibus et matrimonio.

    Venice, Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Manthen, 23 September 1474.

    A beautiful copy of the first edition of these two treatises on excommunication and marriage by Antoninus (1389–1459), Dominican friar and Archbishop of Florence (from 1446), taken from book III of his great work, the Summa theologica moralis, which was not printed in its entirety until 1485.

    £9500

  2. GUILELMUS ALVERNUS.

    De fide et legibus.

    [Augsburg, Günther Zainer, c. 1475-6].

    First and only incunable edition of this work covering reason, faith, love, error, idolatry, superstition, magic, and demonology. William of Auvergne (1180/90 – 1249), Bishop of Paris, was the most important of the pre-Scholastics. ‘He represents the first generation of Paris masters to make...

    £5000

  3. MELA, Pomponius.

    Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.

    [Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].

    Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia,...

    £25000

  4. 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 German medical recipes.

    £9500

  5. [INDULGENCE.] MILÁ, Luis de, Cardinal.

    Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), incipit ‘A Honor …’ granted...

    Lérida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.

    An incunable indulgence granted by Luis de Mila, 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 inland from Barcelona.

    £34000

  6. PLAUTUS.

    Plautinae viginti comediae emendatissimae cum accuratissima ac luculentissima interpraetatione doctissimorum virorum Petri...

    Venice, Simone Bevilacqua for Marco Firmiano, 17 September 1499.

    A most interesting copy of this incunable edition of the plays of Plautus, formerly in the library of the noted English playwright and diplomat Sir George Etherege (1636–1692) – being his earliest known acquisition – and later passing into the ownership of the surgeon Charles Bernard (1652–1710)....

    £12500

  7. THUCYDIDES.

    ΘΟΥΚΥΔΙΔΗΣ. THVCYDIDES.

    (Colophon:) Venice, Aldus, May 1502.

    A handsome copy of the first edition of the Greek text of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, printed by the great Aldus Manutius, with an interesting provenance.

    £25000

  8. [JACOBUS DE GRUYTRODE, ascribed author.]

    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). Essentially a handbook for priests, with a significant devotional element, it was first published between 1487 and 1489. According to Theodor Petreius, Bibliotheca Cartusiana...

    £750

  9. [HOURS, Use of Rome.]

    Hore intemerate dei genitricis virginis Marie secundum usum Romane ecclesie.

    Paris, Thielman Kerver, 6 November 1508.

    A beautiful Book of Hours of Roman use, unrecorded in any bibliographies, printed at Paris by Thielman Kerver for the Spanish market, with a Spanish prayer at the end which has in this copy been crossed through, along with other passages, by an early censor.

    £16000

  10. [CARTHUSIANS.] [GUIGO DE CASTRO, compiler.]

    Repertorium statutoru[m] ordinis cartusiensis per ordinem alphabeti.

    [Colophon:] 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

  11. [CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]

    Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...

    Paris. Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, [1514].

    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...

    £950

  12. 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...

    £4250

  13. SBRUGLIO, Riccardo.

    Richardi Sbrulii equitis Foroiuliani Cesareiq[ue] poete ad magnificu[m] atq[ue] illustrem Maximilianu[m] Seuenbergensem:...

    [Colophon:] Augsburg, Hans von Erfurt, 1519.

    First, very rare, edition, of Sbruglio’s Latin poems addressed to Maximilianus Transylvanus, published in the year that Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor. A native of Cividale in northern Italy, Sbruglio (c. 1480 – after 1525) studied and taught at Wittenberg (where the rector compared him to Ovid),...

    £2500

  14. FLORUS.

    Lucii Flori rerum ab urbe condita liber primus [– quartus].

    [Venice, in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri, March 1521.]

    Florus’s epitome of Roman history, extracted from the Aldine edition of March 1521 which comprised an epitome of Livy, Florus, and Niccolò Perotti’s translation of Polybius.

    £750

  15. 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...

    £1800

  16. MARTIAL, Marcus Valerius.

    Epigram. [epigrammatum] libri magna diligentia nuperrime castigati, adiectis doctissimis commentariis...

    Lyons, [(colophon:) Jean Moylin for] Romain Morin, 4 April 1522.

    A handsome early Lyons edition of Martial’s epigrams, with the commentaries of Calderino, Merula, and Poliziano, and illustrated with sixteen attractive woodcuts by Guillaume le Roy. Le Roy’s blocks, previously used to illustrated a 1510 Lyons Ovid, are copied from the unattributed woodcuts...

    £1450

  17. ALBERTUS de Padua.

    Evangeliorum quadragesimalium opus aureum nunquam alias impressum.

    Venice, Jacob Pentius de Leucho, May 1523.

    First edition, in a contemporary Venetian binding, of the Lenten Gospel exegesis by one of the greatest Augustinian theologians to live on the cusp of the fourteenth century.

    £2000

  18. BRUNFELS, Otto.

    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...

    £3800

  19. DIO CASSIUS.

    Dione historico delle guerre et fatti de Romani. Tradotto di Greco in lingua vulgare per M. Nicolo Leoniceno. Con...

    Venice, Niccolò Zoppino, March 1533.

    First edition of Dio’s Roman History in any language, translated into Italian from the original Greek by Niccolò Leoniceno and preceding the Greek editio princeps, printed by Robert Estienne in 1548, by some fifteen years.

    £2750

  20. PSEUDO-HEGESIPPUS.

    De rebus a Iudaeoru[m] principibus in obsidione fortiter gestis, deq[ue] excidio Hierosolymorum, aliarumq[ue]...

    Cologne, Jaspar Gennepaeus, 1544.

    An early edition of this popular Latin account of the Jewish War of 66-73 AD, with a dedication by Philipp Melanchthon. The text borrows heavily from the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and is attributed in extant manuscripts either to Hegesippus –...

    £500