Continental

Contact Alex Day, Andrea Mazzocchi or Jonathan Harrison

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

    Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), beginning ‘A Honor …’ granted by Luis de Mila,...

    Lérida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.

    Printed at Lérida, the second city of Catalonia, about 100 miles inland from Barcelona: an 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.

    £34000

  2. Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangères, par quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus.

    Paris, [variously:] Jean Cusson, Nicolas le Clerc, Jean Barbou, P.G. le Mercier, Boudet, Marc Bordelet, H.L. Guerin, L.F. Delatour, Rualt,...

    A very rare complete first edition set of the enormously significant Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, ‘the most valuable 18th-century source on Jesuit activities in frontier regions throughout the world’ (Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages) and a monument to Jesuit missionary and scientific zeal....

    £16000

  3. [FROBEN, Johannes].

    Portrait, after Holbein the Younger, showing the scholar-printer half-length, to right, black fur-lined dress,...

    The original of this celebrated portrait is lost, and it only survives in copies. There is one at Hampton Court, for example. See the account in Oliver Miller, Tudor, Stuart and early Georgian Paintings in the Royal Collection, 1963. There are two copies in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung at Basel (357, 1910).

    £12000

  4. AUGUSTINE, Saint.

    St. Augustine, of the Citie of God: with the learned Comments of Io. Lod. Vives. Englished by J. H.

    [London,] Printed by George Eld. 1610.

    First edition in English of Augustine’s City of God, translated by the traveller and gentleman’s steward John Healey. ‘Our earliest treatise on the philosophy of history’, as Voltaire called it, City of God is a cornerstone of Western thought, pervading the whole of the Middle Ages,...

    £12000

  5. POMPONAZZI, Pietro.

    Opera.

    [Basel, Henricus Petri, 1567].

    Rare first edition of Pomponazzi’s essay On fate, free will, and predestination (De fato… libri V), published posthumously in this collective edition prepared by his pupil Gulielmus Gratarol. Gratarol’s editions of Pomponazzi’s writings were instrumental in divulging the thought of one of the...

    £7500

  6. ABSTEMIUS, Laurentius (i.e. Lorenzo ASTEMIO, or sometimes BEVILACQUA).

    De quibusdam locis obscuris. [Colophon:] Venice, Bernardino...

    [but c. 1494.]

    Editio princeps, indeed the only attested edition, of this rare incunable dealing with topics of classical philology and orthography.

    £7000

  7. TYRTAEUS and CALLINUS.

    Les chants...traduits en vers par Firmin Didot.

    Paris, Firmin Didot, pere et fils, 1827.

    One of only 100 copies - all hors de commerce - of this deluxe folio Didot edition of some of the oldest martial elegy verses of the Western tradition: the surviving works of the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus and the Ephesian poet Callinus (7th-6th century BC). The text is preceded by an engraved Lettre to Firmin...

    £6000

  8. [BIBLE.]

    La Bible, qui est toute la Sainte Escriture du Vieil et du Nouveau Testament. Autrement, l’ancienne et la nouvelle alliance....

    London, R. Everingham for R. Bentley and J. Hindmarsh, 1687.

    First complete edition of the Bible in French to be printed in England, in a fine Restoration binding. This Bible, in the French Geneva version, was published less than two years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (22 October 1685) which saw about 50,000 French Protestant refugees move to England...

    £5750

  9. VALIGNANO, Alessandro.

    Advis de la bien heureuse mort de cinq religieux de la Compagnie de Iesus, & d’aucuns autres seculiers,...

    Paris, Thomas Brumen, 1584.

    Very rare first edition in French of the letter sent by the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano (1539-1606) in late December 1583 to Claudio Acquaviva, the Society’s Superior General, reporting on the deaths of five Jesuit missionaries in the village of Cuncolim in the district of Salcete...

    £5500

  10. DINKELSBÜHL, Nicolaus de.

    Tractatus hoc volumine contenti: I. De dilectione dei et proximi. II. De preceptis decalogi. III. De...

    Strassburg, J. Schott, 1516.

    First edition of the Tractatus octo, comprising Dinkelsbühl’s famous De preceptis decalogi, an influential tract against superstition and diabolic magic; this is one of two variant titles, that in which the word ‘mortalibus’ is not abbreviated.

    £4500

  11. CHOIR BREVIARY,

    part of the offices for the Feast of the Annunciation (Lady Day); a complete leaf written in double columns with...

    An imposing and richly illuminated leaf from an English ‘Choir Breviary’ of exceptionally large size. The leaf has been preserved as an archival wrapper and survived the Reformation in remarkably good condition.

    £4000

  12. SPONTONE, Ciro.

    Dodici libri del governo.

    Verona, for G. Battista Pigozzo and Andrea de Rossi, 1599 [colophon 1600].

    First edition of a rare - and in parts typographically striking - treatise on political science conceived as a comprehensive riposte to Machiavelli’s Prince. Ciro Spontone (1552-1613) wrote his ‘anti-Machiavelli’ whilst serving as secretary to the Duke of Mantua Vincenzo I Gonzaga, with whom he...

    £4000

  13. ALBERTI, Leon Battista.

    El Momo. La moral e muy graciosa historia del Momo; compuesta en Latin por el docto varon Leon Bapista...

    Alcalá de Henares, Joan Mey Flandro, 1553.

    First edition in Spanish of Alberti’s Momus [or De principe], translated by Augustín de Almaçan and with an introductory 8 pp. Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).

    £3800

  14. POCKLINGTON, John.

    Altare Christianum: or, the dead Vicar’s Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr. being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth...

    London, Printed by Richard Badger. 1637.

    First edition, from the library of Robert Southey, with an ownership inscription an eleven-line note in his distinctive diminutive hand.

    £3750

  15. BUDÉ, Guillaume.

    Commentarii linguae Graecae ...

    [Paris], Josse Badius, September 1529.

    A nice copy of the first edition of Budé’s seminal study of the Greek language, dedicated to Francis I, and superbly printed by Josse Badius.

    £3250

  16. MORI, Ascanio de’.

    Giuoco piacevole.

    Mantua, Giacomo Ruffinello, 1575.

    First edition of a rare Renaissance collection of tales in prose and verse.

    £2750

  17. PEZEL, Tobias.

    Postill, Dat is, Uthlegginge der Evangelien so up de Sondage und Göttlike feste in der gemene Gades.

    Bremen, Thomas de Villiers, 1617.

    Very rare first and only edition of this Reformed Postilla in Low German, translated by Tobias Pezel, the preacher and theologian son of another famous Reformed theologian and promoter of the Confession in Nassau and Bremen, Christoph Pezel.

    £2750

  18. FISHER, John.

    Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum.

    Cologne, [Hero Fuchs for] Peter Quentel, 1525.

    RUPERT, of Deutz. De divinis officiis libri XII. [Cologne, Frans Birckmann,] 1526.

    £2750

  19. 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...

    £2500