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.
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-page Exposición by the Toledo ascetic writer and scholar Alejo Venegas (1495?–1554?).
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.
ALBERTUS Magnus (trad. attr.; or Hugh RIPELIN).
Compendium theologicae veritatis.
Venice, Gabriel de Grassis, 14 June 1485.
An extensively annotated copy of the work that many believe to have been the most widely read theological work of the later Middle Ages. Comprehensive in scope, appealing in style, and practical in its arrangement, it was used as a textbook for four hundred years. Long attributed to Albert the...
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.
APULEIUS (Julien FLEURY, editor).
Lucii Apuleii Madaurensis Platonici philosophi opera interpretatione et notis illustravit...
Paris, Frederic Leonard, 1688.
First Delphin edition of the works of Apuleius, ‘une des meillures éditions qui soient dans la collection des Ad usum’ according to Brunet, comprising the Metamorphoses, his popularisations of Platonic philosophy, and excerpts from his lectures known as the Florida. The Delphin classics were a landmark...
Opuscula varia posthuma, philosophica, civilia, et theologica, nunc primum edita. Cura & fide Guilielmi Rawley…...
London, R. Daniel, impensis Octaviani Pulleyn, 1658.
First edition, second issue (with the imprint R. Daniel, rather than R. Danielis) of this collection of the philosophical, political, and theological writings of Bacon, including numerous essays previously unpublished, and the first appearance of William Rawley’s biographical sketch of the philosopher....
Scenari inediti della Commedia dell’arte. Contributo alla storia del teatro popolare italiano.
Florence, Sansoni, 1880.
Rare first edition, one of only 350 copies, of a foundational source for the study of Commedia dell’Arte. The exceptionally well-loved and widely-performed form of drama is the subject of the author’s pioneering study: he examines tropes, characters, plots, structures and lines of ‘scenarios’...
BASIL, Saint, and Janus CORNARIUS (editor).
[Opera, Greek] Απαντα τα του θειου …...
Basel, Hieronymus Froben and Nicolaus Episcopius, 1551.
Editio princeps of St. Basil’s complete works in the original Greek. In 1532 Froben had published, under the editorship of Erasmus, an edition containing the De Spiritu Sancto, the Hexaemeron, the Homilies on the Psalms, twenty-nine further homilies, and some letters....
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...
Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are...
Psyche: or Loves Mysterie in XX. Canto’s: displaying the Intercourse between Christ and the Soule …
London, Printed by John Dawson for George Boddington … 1648.
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults...
A Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris, Themistocles, Socrates, Euripides, and Others; and the Fables of Aesop.
London, Printed by J. Leake, for Peter Buck … 1697.
First edition, the separate issue, of what is arguably the greatest and most familiar exposure of a literary forgery, demolishing the attribution of celebrated ‘ancient’ texts on linguistic and historical grounds.
The History of the legal polity of the Roman State; and of the rise, progress, and extent of the Roman laws.
London, Strahan and Cadell, 1781.
Sole edition of a legal history conceived along the lines of Gibbon’s history, an account that was meant to furnish leaders of the emerging British Empire with a helpful knowledge of the past from the perspective of the evolution of legal systems.
Compendio della vita e miracoli della B. Elisabetta Picenardi del Terz’Ordine de’ Servi di M.V. E del culto...
Cremona, per il Feraboli, 1805.
Second edition (first Rome 1804) of this account of the life and miracles of Elisabetta Picenardi (1428–1468) of the Servite Order, who was beatified in November 1804 after Pope Pius VII issued confirmation of her local cultus. The work is attributed to the Camaldolese monk Isidoro Bianchi (1731–1808)....
La Bibbia. Cioè, i libri del Vecchio, e del Nuovo Testamento. Nuouamente traslatati in lingua Italiana, da Giovanni Diodati,...
[Geneva, Jean de Tournes?], 1607.
First edition of the Protestant Bible in Italian, in a handsome contemporary binding.
Biblia sacra vulgatae editionis Sixti Quinti Pont. Max. iussu, recognita atque edita.
Antwerp, Jan Moretus ‘ex officina Plantiniana’, 1599.
An attractive Plantin Bible, bound in four volumes and interleaved for scholarly annotations. The interleaved notes offer, in a small and neat hand, comments and references largely in Latin and French, with some Greek and Hebrew.
The Holy Bible containing the Bookes of the Old and New Testament.
Cambridge … Printed by John Field Printer to the Universitie. And illustrated wth Chorographical Sculps by J[ohn]. Ogilby. 1660[-59].
The fine Field–Ogilby folio Bible, perhaps the most impressive English Bible of the seventeenth-century and the first to be issued under Charles II; this is the rare first issue, with plates by Wenceslar Hollar, and is found here with the uniform Book of Common Prayer, printed for Ogilby...
[BIBLE – GREEK NEW TESTAMENT.]
Της Καινης Διαθηκης Απαντα. Novum Testamentum.
Londini, Ex Officina, Jacobi Tonson & Johannis Watts. 1730.
Interleaved and heavily annotated copy of the third Tonson & Watts edition of the Greek New Testament, the text as edited by Michael Maittaire (first published 1714). Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of this edition, sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.
BIEL, Gabriel, and Florentius DIEL (editor).
Passionis dominice sermo historialis notabilis atque praeclarus.
[(Colophon:) Mainz, Friedrich Heumann, 29 August 1509.]
Revised edition of Biel’s sermon on the Passion, thought to be partially printed with Gutenberg’s type, and the first book printed by Friedrich Heumann, bound with the first edition of an important work on the four different interpretations of the Catholic mass, a beautiful copy from the celebrated...
Randolph Caldecott: a personal memoir of his early art career.
London, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, Rivington, 1886.
First edition of a memoir detailing the early artwork of Randolph Caldecott, a 19th century English magazine and newspaper illustrator, known for his work ‘Picture Books’. The book consists of extracts from his letters which aim to act as a setting for his many illustrations, often political, including...
Iacobi Blanchoni ucessiensis adversus Ludovicum beneventanum abbatem selestensem defensionum liber.
Lyon, Jean de Tournes, 1550.
First edition of a very rare work of sixteenth-century Lyonnese Neoplatonism, an elegantly-printed de Tournes edition. Ostensibly a simple series of remarks against the theses of the (presumably sternly Scholastic) abbot of Selestan, this is a tract of Renaissance moral philosophy. The theme of...