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. 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

  2. [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

  3. [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

  4. ABBEVILLE, Claude d’.

    Histoire de la mission des peres capucins en l’isle de Maragnan et terres circonvoisines ou est traicte...

    Paris, François Huby, 1614.

    Second edition, enlarged and revised from the first edition published earlier the same year, a handsome copy. The first written account of the Capuchin mission to Maranhão, an island on the coast of Brazil, of which, Sabin notes, this is the earliest mention. In 1612 the mission, composed of...

    £30000

  5. [ROZIER.] 

    Le rozier historial de France contenant deux roziers.  Le p[re]mier rozier contient plusieurs belles rozes et boutons...

    Paris, [Gilles Couteau for François Regnault], 26 February 1522 [i.e. 1523]. 


    First edition, the very handsome Fairfax-Murray copy, of the Rozier historial de France

    £25000

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. [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

  9. [COLONNA, Francesco.] 

    Poliphili hypnerotomachia, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse ostendit, atque obiter plurima scitu...

    Venice, [heirs of Aldus], 1545. 

    Second edition, scarcer than the first (also an Aldine, published in 1499), of the most beautiful illustrated books printed in Italy in the fifteenth century.  Known for its fine woodcut illustrations, mysterious meanings, and the cryptic inclusion of Colonna’s name, the Hypnerotomachia...

    £18500

  10. GIBBON, Edward.

    The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire.

    London, printed for W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1776–88.

    First editions of all six volumes of Gibbon’s ‘masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style’ (PMM). The first volume here is of the second variant (of two), with the errata corrected as far as p. 183 and X4 and a4 so signed.

    £14000

  11. 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

  12. OVIDIUS Naso, Publius, and Pedro Sánchez de VIANA (transl. and ed.).

    Las transformaciones. [issued with:]...

    Valladolid, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, 1589.

    First edition, a copy of notable provenance, of perhaps the most successful early Spanish translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, by Pedro Sánchez de Viana (1545–1616), published along with his substantial commentary. In the age of Cervantes (another master of literary transformations), Ovid...

    £8000

  13. [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

  14. POCOCKE, Richard. 

    A Description of the East, and some other Countries.  London: W. Bowyer for the Author, [‘and sold by J. and...

    [Nourse, and J. Rivington’ (I)], 1743–1745. 

    First edition, demy folio issue. A successful churchman Pococke (1704-1765) is now best remembered as a traveller and mountaineer. His earliest journeys were undertaken between 1733 and 1736 through continental Europe. His ‘next and most ambitious journey, from 1737 to 1740, was to the Near...

    £8000

  15. 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

  16. DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine. 

    ‘An Explanation of Dassier’s Medals being a Representation of a Series of Events taken...

    London, c. 1795–1800. 

    An exceptionally fine illustrated manuscript, with drawings after the series of sixty medals of Roman history from Romulus to the Age of Augustus produced by Jean Dassier and his son in 1740-1743.  The drawings are executed with considerable finesse, adding detailed elements not clearly visible...

    £6500

  17. MARLIANI, Bartolomeo. 

    Urbis Romae topographia. 

    Rome, Valerio & Luigi Dorico, September 1544. 

    First illustrated edition (third overall), showing the archaeology and antiquities of Rome as known in the sixteenth century.  First published in octavo by Antonio Blado in 1534 and reprinted at Lyons by Sébastien Gryphe later the same year, Marliani’s topography of Rome remained the foremost...

    £5500

  18. ERASMUS, Desiderius. 

    Paraclesis, id est adhortio ad sanctissimum ac saluberrimum Cristianae philosophiae studium … 

    Basel, Johann Froben, February 1520. 

    Attractive contemporary Erasmus sammelband, superbly eloquent in its physical union of three treatises without which the humanist’s Praise of Folly would risk gross misinterpretation. 

    £5500

  19. [PALLAVICINO, Ferrante.]

    La rettorica delle puttane. Composta conforme li precetti di Cipriano. Dedicata alla università delle...

    ‘Cambrai’ (but Venice), [no printer], 1642.

    Extremely rare first edition, fourth variant (variant ‘V’), of a classic of seventeenth-century erotic literature, the masterpiece of the celebrated satirist Ferrante Pallavicino (1615–1644). Published anonymously in Venice with a fictitious Cambrai imprint, The rhetoric of whores...

    £5500

  20. FULBECKE, William.

    An Historicall Collection of the continuall Factions, Tumults, and Massacres of the Romans and Italians during...

    London, Printed for William Ponsonby. 1601.

    First edition. Fulbecke’s Historicall Collection ‘was a narrative history of the last years of the Roman republic and it is significant as one of the very few attempts by a Renaissance Englishman to write such a work … An interesting attempt to weave together such often-contradictory...

    £5250