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.
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.
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).
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...
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.
Orationes et epistolae gravitatis et suavitatis plenae de Greco in Latinum pridem conversae, nunc recognitae, per Hieronymu[m]...
Paris, Michel de Vascosan, 1553.
A handsome Latin edition of twenty-one works by the Athenian orator Isocrates (436-338 BC) whose work was highly influential on later education, oratory and writing. Isocrates studied under Socrates and the sophists, before establishing a famous school of rhetoric which attracted pupils from all parts...
[BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.] Il Libro delle Preghiere publiche ed Amministrazione de Sacramenti, ed altri Riti e Cerimonie...
Londra, Appresso Moise Pitt Libraro … 1685.
First edition of the first translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Italian. The project was begun by Edward Browne while chaplain to Sir John Finch in Constantinople, perhaps incorporating an earlier, unpublished translation by William Bedell (the manuscript being listed in Griffiths’ Bibliography...
ITALY – LOMBARDY.
Letters patent by Giovanni de Sigestro, Vicar General of the minorite friars in the cismontane province, granting...
A beautifully written and illuminated Italian Renaissance charter.
[JACOBUS DE GRUYTRODE, ascribed author.]
Lavacrum conscientie [omnium sacerdotum].
[Colophon:] Cologne, Heinrich Quentell, 1504.
Rare edition of this popular late medieval treatise widely ascribed to the Carthusian monk Jacobus de Gruytrode (c. 1400–1475). Essentially a handbook for priests, with a significant devotional element, it was first published between 1487 and 1489. According to Theodor Petreius, Bibliotheca Cartusiana...
Almanach des Schocken Verlags auf das Jahr 5695.
Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1934/35.
Pp. 96-103 contain Kafka’s Aufzeichnungen über eine jüdische Wandertruppe, the description of his meeting with a troupe of Yiddish actors in the Café Savoy in Prague in 1911. This encounter was to have a profound effect on his writing. The passage was later published in an extended version in the...