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.
Arrolandosi sotto le insegne di Gesù Cristo col prender l’acqua del santo battesimo nell’insigne cattedrale...
Vicenza, Tipografia Paroni, 1802.
Unrecorded broadsheet celebrating the conversion to Catholicism of Marco Mortera, a Jew from Vicenza.
A dissertation on miracles: containing an examination of the principles advanced by David Hume Esq; in an essay...
Edinburgh, for A. Kincaid & J. Bell, 1762.
First edition. This dissertation, expanded from a sermon preached before the provincial synod in 1760 is called by Mossner ‘the most elaborate of the eighteenth century and is further remarkable in that it drew comment from Hume himself’ (p. 292). Through an intermediary, the Reverend Hugh Blair,...
[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.
[CARTHUSIANS.] [GUIGO DE CASTRO, compiler.]
Repertorium statutoru[m] ordinis cartusiensis per ordinem alphabeti.
[Colophon:] 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.
Travels in Greece: or an Account of a Tour made at the Expense of the Society of Dilettanti.
Oxford: ‘Printed at The Clarendon Press ... Sold by J. Dodsley, J. Robson, T. Cadell, P. Elmsley, and G. Robinson, London; and by D. Prince,...
First edition. The classical scholar, traveller, and author Chandler (bap. 1737, d. 1810) was educated at Winchester College and Queen’s College, Oxford, and awarded a demyship at Magdalen College in 1757. Following the publication of an annotated collection of fragments by Tyrtaeus, Simonides, Theognis,...
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.
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.
CICERO, Marcus Tullius (Giovanni Michele BRUTO, editor).
Orationum volumen primum.
London, Thomas Vautrollier, 1579.
Rare first English printing of Cicero’s orations, published in London by the French Huguenot printer Thomas Vautrollier. ‘At a time when demand for Latin books was still overwhelmingly met by imports Vautrollier was one of the few printers with the confidence and resources to take on such a substantial...
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.
La grande danse macabre des hommes et des femmes, historiée & renouvellée de vieux Gaulois, en langage le plus...
Troyes, Jean-Antoine Garnier, .
First Garnier edition of the popular Dance macabre, issued as a chapbook of the famous French ‘Bibliothèque bleue’. An eighteenth-century adaption of the medieval text, the Grande danse macabre uses both newly-cut illustrations and the original fifteenth-century blocks, a testimony to the enduring...
Le malheur et la pitié, poëme en quatre chants.
London, A. Dulau & Co. and Prosper & Co., 1803.
First London edition. First published in Paris the previous year under the title La pitié; also published in octavo format in both London and Paris in 1803. According to Brunet, the London editions contain several passages relating to the French Revolution and to the king which appeared in only...
[DIDEROT, Denis and others].
Select Essays from the Encyclopedy, being the most curious, entertaining, and instructive Parts of...
London: Printed for Samuel Leacroft … 1772.
First and only edition in English of selected articles from L’Esprit de l’Encyclopédie (1768), in effect the first extant portion of Diderot’s famous Encyclopédie to appear in English.
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,...
[ECKER UND ECKHOFFEN, Hans Heinrich von.]
Freymäurerische Versammlungsreden der Gold- und Rosenkreutzer des alten Systems. Mit...
Amsterdam [but Leipzig], 1779.
First edition of a Rosicrucian emblem book with twelve alchemical engravings, signed (most likely pseudonymously) ‘Hejonagogerus Nugir’, combining Christian tradition with cryptic symbols and Hermetic occultism.
ENRIQUEZ GOMEZ, Antonio.
La culpa del primero peregrino. Dedicado a la serenissima Princesa y Madama Margarita de Lorena Duquesa...
Rouen, Laurens Maurry, 1644.
Rare first edition, and the only edition to be published during the author’s lifetime, of this Spanish dramatized version of the Fall.
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...