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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.
A single folio leaf (389 x 281 mm.), containing Luke XVII:23–XIX:13 (leaf 230 of volume 2), double column, 42...
[Mainz: Printed by Johann Gutenberg & Johann Fust, c. 1450-1455, not after August 1456.]
A fine single paper leaf from the first substantial book printed with movable type in the western world, now known simply as the Gutenberg Bible or the 42-line Bible.
[BIBLICAL MEDITATIONS – CHINESE.]
聖經廣益 [Sheng Jing Guang Yi].
Beijing, Shou shan tang, c. 1734.
First edition, very rare, a translation into Chinese of meditations on Gospel readings, by Joseph-Anne-Marie de Moyriac de Mailla (1669–1748). De Mailla, a Jesuit missionary who had arrived in China around 1703, is now best known for his translation of the Chinese annals, published posthumously...
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...
Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre und Religionswissenschaft in einer beurtheilenden Uebersicht.
Sulzbach, J.E von Seidels, 1841.
First edition of this critical summary of the greatest works of Bolzano, The Theory of Science and The Science of Religion, first published in four-volume sets in 1837 and 1834, copiously illustrated with citations from the original texts.
[BOOK OF COMMON ORDER.]
[The CL Psalms of David in Metre, with the Prose. For the Use of Kirk of Scotland …]
[Middelburgh, Richard Schilders, 1602.]
A substantial fragment, the main text largely complete, of an attractive Dutch printing of the Scottish Book of Common Order. Originally drawn up by John Knox in Geneva for the use of the English-speaking congregations there, the liturgy known as the Book of Common Order quickly made its way...
[BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.]
La Liturgie. C’est a dire, le formulaire des Prieres publiques, de l’Administrations des Sacreman;...
A Londres, pour Jean Dunmore & Octavien Pulleyn le Jeune … 1667.
First edition of this translation, printed for the use of ‘toutes les Eglisses Paroissiales & dans les Chapelles de Isles de Jersey, Guernsey, & autres Isles adjacentes’, as well as for the French congregation at the Savoy in London.
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...
CADOGAN, William Bromley.
The Felicity of God’s Children, considered in a Sermon, preached upon the Death of a Lady, in the parish...
Reading: Printed and Sold by Smart and Cowslade; and sold by J. Rusher, Reading; Messrs. Robinsons, V. Griffiths ... & J. Matthews ... London;...
First edition, a funeral sermon by the popular preacher William Bromley Cadogan, a friend of John Newton, for the local widow Maria Littlehales, printed at the request of her children. A younger son of the third Earl of Cadogan, the well-connected churchman was vicar of St. Giles, Reading, and rector...
CAESAR, Gaius Julius.
[Opera] quae extant.
London, J. Brindley, 1744.
An attractive set of Brindley’s duodecimo Caesar, edited by the Irish classicist Usher Gahagan. The Caesar is one of several small-format classics published by Brindley in 1744, for which Gahagan was employed as editor. He subsequently produced versions of Quintus Curtius and Catullus, Propertius,...
[CAESAR.] RAMUS, Petrus (Pierre de la RAMÉE).
Liber de militia C. Julii Caesaris, cum praefatione Joannis Thomae Freigii.
Frankfurt, heirs of Andreas Wechel, 1584.
An attractively bound copy of Ramus’s uncommon treatise on Caesar’s military tactics, with unusual edge decoration.
[CANONS REGULAR OF THE LATERAN.]
Regula et constitutiones Canonicorum Regularium congregationis S. Salvatoris, Ordinis Sancti Augustini....
Rome, apud Paulum Bladum, 1592.
The most complete edition, rare, of the Rule and Constitutions of the Order of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine of the Congregation of the Most Holy Saviour, printed on vellum, with two seemingly unrecorded cancels, from the library of a former Abbot General of the Order.
[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.
La retorica … divisa in sette libri, dove si contiene tutto quello, che appartiene all’arte Oratoria. In...
Venice, Gabriel Giolitto, 1559.
Second edition, published in the same year as the first with a few amendments, of the earliest Italian and most innovative treatise on rhetoric. The author ‘builds an original account of rhetoric by adding Ciceronian and Hermogenean material to an Aristotle base’ (Mack, p. 172).
[CERVANTES SAAVEDRA, Miguel de.]
Don Quixote Von Mancha, Abentheurliche Geschichte. Erster [– Anderer] Theil.
Basel & Frankfurt, ‘Johann Ludwig du Four, von Genff’, 1682.
First edition, first issue, of the first complete translation of Don Quixote into German. An earlier translation under the title ‘Juncker Harnisch aus Fleckenland’ (Frankfurt 1648, reprinted 1669 (the Cöthen 1621 edition is a ghost)) comprised only the first twenty-two chapters of Part I....
Costituzioni della Congregazione della Carità di Parma sotti gli auspizi di San Filippo Neri rinnovate nell’anno...
Parma, Stamperia Reale, .
Uncommon set of constitutions for the Congregazione della Carità of Parma, printed after its refoundation in 1777. After a brief introduction, the constitutions set out the procedures for the election of the confreres and their reception, the times and order for meetings, discipline within the...
Les trois veritez. Seconde edition reveue, corrigée, & de beaucoup augmentée.
Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, 1595.
Second, much enlarged edition of Charron’s first book, which sought to prove the existence of God, man’s need of religion, and – in the main part, with a heavy debt to Montaigne’s Christian scepticism – the truth of Catholicism against Protestantism.
Considerations sur les devoirs des personnes qui sont engagées par leur état à servir les...
Paris, chez Edme Couterot, 1695.
Rare first edition of this religious manual of instruction aimed at those caring for the sick in hospitals, exhorting carers to look after the bodily and spiritual needs of their charges ‘with charity, gentleness, compassion, patience, diligence, zeal, respect and humility’.
Précis des nouvelles reçues des missions de Chine et des royaumes voisins, en 1819.
[Paris, Adrien Le Clere, 1819?].
An extremely rare summary of the state of French Christian missions in Su-Tchuen (China), Tong-King (Vietnam), Cochinchine (Vietnam), Siam (Thailand), and Pondichery (India) in 1819.
[Opera: Homeliae.] Que in secundo Ioannis Chrisostomi volumine continentur: Super Mattheum homelie 89 …...
Venice, Stagnino & de Gregoriis, 1503.
First edition of Chrysostom’s Opera omnia, the second volume (of two), annotated throughout by two critical readers.