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.
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.
CHERTABLON, M. de.
La maniere de se bien preparer a la mort. Par des considerations sur la Cene, la Passion, et la Mort de Jesus-Christ,...
Antwerp, George Gallet, 1700.
First edition with the present text. Romeyn de Hooghe’s fine series of engravings were first printed for David de la Vigne’s Miroir de la bonne mort (Amsterdam or Antwerp, 1673). The artist was still working in 1700, but because the plates in this work are unsigned and several are reversed from the...
Twenty-Four Sermons preached at the Merchant-Lecture at Pinners Hall …
London: Printed by S. Bridge, for Thomas Parkhurst … 1699.
First edition, published posthumously, an uncommon collection of sermons by Timothy Cruso, schoolfriend of Defoe, who memorialised his name in Robinson Crusoe.
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.
[Greek title] De vitis, dogmatis & apophthegmatis eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt, libri X. (Edited by Henri...
[Geneva], Henri Estienne, 1570.
First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, “in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne. The volume also contains 36 pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne and 3 pages of notes...
Religio Laici or a Layman’s Faith. A Poem …
London, Printed for Jacob Tonson … 1683.
First edition, second issue (with a few minor corrections; Macdonald located only two copies of the first): ‘a defence of the Anglican position, which shows his singular power of arguing in verse’ (Leslie Stephen, DNB). The inspiration for the poem was the translation of Richard Simon’s Histoire...
DU ROSIER, Simon.
Antithesis Christi et Antichristi, videlicet Papae.
[Geneva], Eustace Vignon, 1578.
Rare edition of this satirical attack on the Catholic Church and the Pope by the Protestant minister Simon Du Rosier (or Rosarius), first published in Wittemberg in 1521. An excellent example of the ‘antithesis genre’, of which Luther’s Passional Christi und Antichristi is the most famous expression,...
EPICTETUS. [DU VAIR, Guillaume, translator].
Le Manuel d’Epictete.
Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1591.
Rare first edition of this translation of the “Encheiridion” or “Manual” of Epictetus’ principal doctrines; an earlier translation by Antoine Du Moulin had been published in 1544.
ESTE, Rinaldo d’.
Memoires de monsieur le cardinal Reynard d’Este, protecteur & directeur des affaires de France en cour de...
Cologne, Henry Demen, 1677.
Rare first edition of this memoir of the career of the influential Italian cardinal Rinaldo d’Este (1618-1673), compiled by one of his entourage who served with him for 16 years. Born in Modena, son of duke Alfonso III, Este was brought up in France, entered the church, and rose quickly. Elected cardinal...
EUCHERIUS, Johannes (pseud.).
Gratiarum actio. Wirtembergensibus et Tubingensibus verbi ministris; qui censuris Patriarche Constantinopolitani...
Christopoli [i.e. Poznań, J. Wolrab], 1585.
Very rare early imprint from Poznań, one of the oldest and most important cities in Poland, a Catholic stronghold. There Johann Wolrab, Nikolaus’ eldest son, founded the second city printing press in 1579. Gratiarum actio had first appeared in 1584 in two productions printed in Krakow and Poznań,...
Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum.
Cologne, [Hero Fuchs for] Peter Quentel, 1525.
RUPERT, of Deutz. De divinis officiis libri XII. [Cologne, Frans Birckmann,] 1526.
[FITZ-PATRICK, Robertus, translator, probably pseud.]
The sacred History of the Holy Sheet. Collected from grave Authors, and translated...
London: Printed for M. Cooper … 1745
First edition of what appears to be the first book in English devoted to a description of the Turin Shroud and its history, curiously combining a sympathetic text with a heavily ironic, anti-Catholic preface, particularly anti-European Catholics. Can the preface have been influenced by the events of...
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).
GREGORY I, Pope (c. 540-604), (Gregory the Great).
Liber cure pastoralis divi Gregorii pape: in sole aureo vici Sorbonici Parrhisiis...
Paris, Ulrich Gering and Berthold Rembolt, 18 July 1498.
The Regula Pastoralis is Gregory’s set of instructions on the office and duties of the bishop, whom he regarded as a shepherd of souls. It is the key to Gregory’s life as pope, for what he preached he also practised. ‘In all likelihood he intended his Regula to be for the secular...
HAEFTEN, Benedictus van.
Regia via crucis.
Antwerp, Ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1635.
First edition of an important counter-reformation devotional emblem book, with a title-page designed by Peter Paul Rubens. Haeften (1588-1648) was provost of the Benedictine abbey of Affligem, Belgium, and played an important role in the reform of the Benedictine order. The Regia via crucis was his most...
The Office of the Holy Week according to the Missall and Roman Breviary. Translated out of French with a new and ample...
Paris, Printed by the Widow Chrestien. 1670.
First edition of the French Catholic liturgy in English for the two weeks from Palm Sunday to Quasimodo or Low Sunday, translated and with a dedication and explanatory footnotes by Sir Walter Kirkham Blount.
Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, eight Bookes [Bound with:] Certayne Divine Tractates … London, Printed...
… London: Printed by Will. Stansby, and are to be sold by Mat. Lownes … 1617.
Fourth edition, first issue, of the Preface and Books 1-4 (first published in 1593), third edition of Book 5 (first published in 1597), bound here with the third edition of ‘Certayne Divine Tractates’ (1631), issued with a 1622 general title-page (rather than the usual 1632).
Paris, A. Mesnier [printed by Didot fils with the type cut by Henri Didot], 1828.
A scarce Miniature Book. “One of the typographical wonders and an unsurpassed feat as far as minuteness and beauty of type is concerned” (Spielmann 201).
INTITIAL from a manuscript Gradual or Antiphonal; initial 'U' painted in rose red with elaborate white tracery, the...
The stylized decoration and use of bright colours, including the deep blue grape motif, recalls the art of Ferrara at the end of the third quarter of the 15th century. Compare, for example, an initial in a Bible painted for the Este family by Taddeo Crivelli (active from 1451, died 1479) which is now...
[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.