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.

    £60000

  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. 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. 

    £30000

  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...

    £30000

  7. [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

  8. [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...

    £24000

  9. PETRARCH, Francesco. 

    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). 

    £16000

  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. [BIBLE.]

    The Holy Bible. The Old Testament (& New Testament), embellished with Engravings, from Pictures and Designs by the Most...

    London: Printed for Thomas Macklin, by Thomas Bensley, 1800.

    A wonderful set, in an extremely attractive contemporary binding, of this monumental feat of British printing, the grandest and most ambitious of all English Bibles. Printed on a new, thick wove Whatman paper in a specially designed large type, and illustrated with seventy full-page engravings...

    £10000

  12. 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. 

    £8500

  13. POCOCKE, Richard.

    A Description of the East, and some other Countries.

    London: W. Bowyer for the Author, [‘and sold by J. and P. Knapton, W. Innys, W. Meadows, G. Hawkins, S. Birt, T. Longman, C. Hitch, R. Dodsley,...

    First edition, demy folio issue. The traveller and cleric Pococke (1704-1765), was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated BA in 1725, BCL in 1731, and DCL in 1733. His family’s ecclesiastical connexions and his facility at navigating the complexities of clerical patronage enabled...

    £8000

  14. 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

  15. [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

  16. DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine.

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

    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...

    £7500

  17. 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

  18. SENECA, Lucius Annaeus. 

    L. Annei Senecae opera, et ad dicendi facultatem, et ad bene vivendu[m] utilissima, per Des. Erasmum...

    Basel, ‘in officina Frobeniana’, 1529 [(colophon:) Basel, Johann Herwagen, March 1537]. 

    Second Erasmus edition of the moral essays and letters of Seneca, owned and annotated by Ludovicus Carinus (d. 1569), friend and later foe of Erasmus himself. 

    £6000

  19. 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

  20. 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