Continental

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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.

 
  1. HOOKER, Richard.

    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).

    £650

  2. HORACE.

    Opera omnia.

    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).

    £600

  3. HORAE, B.M.V., Use of Rome.

    Ces présentes heures a lusaige de Ro[m]me fure[n]t achevez lan Mil. CCCC. iiii. xx. [et] xviii. le...

    Paris, Philippe Pigouchet for Simon Vostre, 22 August 1498.

    One of the most beautiful printed Books of Hours of the late fifteenth century. Fifteen of the large cuts, all attributed to the Master of the Apocalypse-Rose, belong to Pigouchet’s fine second series of Hours illustrations, first used in 1496. Seven cuts, representing Pigouchet’s third...

    £15000

  4. [HORAE, (Use of Paris.]

    Hore in laudem beatissime virginis Marie: secundum consuetudinem ecclesiae parisiensis.

    [Colophon:] Paris, Simon du Bois for Geoffroy Tory, 22 October 1527.

    A fine, uncoloured copy of this unusual and beautiful Book of Hours published by the humanist bookseller and designer Geoffroy Tory. The woodcut borders and Italian-influenced illustrations appear here for the first time.

    £35000

  5. ILLUMINATED

    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...

    £750

  6. [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.

    £34000

  7. [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...

    £750

  8. [KAFKA, Franz.]

    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...

    £180

  9. [KAMES, Henry HOME, Lord].

    Grundsaetze der Kritik, aus dem Englischen übersetzt, von Joh. Nikolaus Meinhard. Vienna, Johann Thomas...

    Vienna, Johann Thomas Edlen von Trattnern, 1785-6.

    A Viennese reprint of the first German translation of the Elements of criticism, by Meinhard with the approval of Lessing, first issued in 1763-66, instrumental in the dissemination and reception of Kames’s aesthetic theories in Germany and a seminal publication in the formation of pre-Romantic aesthetics.

    £450

  10. KERKHERDERE, Jan Gerard.

    De situ Paradisi Terrestris ... Praecedit... conatus novus de Cepha reprehenso ex Galatarum secundo capite.

    Louvain, Martin van Overbeke, 1729.

    First edition. Kerkherdere addresses the question of the location of the Garden of Eden, the earthly Paradise, accompanying his conjecture with a map engraved by P. E. Boultats of Antwerp; the perusal of various sources, geographical studies and toponymic considerations lead the author, an Imperial historian,...

    £800

  11. [KRAG, Niels, editor.]

    NICOLAUS, of Damascus. Ex Nicolai Damasceni universali historia seu de moribus gentium libris excepta Iohannis...

    [?Heidelberg], Pierre de Saint-André, 1593.

    First edition thus. Comprises observations on the customs of different peoples (Iberians, Celts, Phrygians, Assyrians, Spartans and so on) from the Augustan historian Nicolaus of Damascus’ Universal history, only fragments of which have come down to us (in this case via Stobaeus). The text is printed...

    £300

  12. LEONARDO DA PORTO MAURIZIO.

    Metodo pratico della ven. archiconfraternita degli amanti di Gesu’, e di Maria per fare il santo...

    Rome, nella stamperia del Giunchi, 1773.

    Handsome illustrated edition of this work on the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, or Via Crucis, by the Italian Franciscan preacher and ascetic writer Leonardo da Porto Maurizio (1676-1751). Leonard, who was canonised in 1867, was extremely active in promoting the spread of the devotion of the...

    £550

  13. [LITURGY.]

    Cerimonie piu’ notabili della messa privata; Cavate dalle rubriche del Missale, ed altri autori da un Sacerdote D.C.D.M....

    Turin, Gianfranco Mairesse, 1739.

    As far as we are aware unrecorded edition of this uncommon treatise on the celebration of the mass and its associated rituals. Dealing both with private (low) masses and with solemn mass and solemn vespers, the work explains the meaning and performance of the non-verbal aspects of the liturgy:...

    £335

  14. LUTHER, Martin.

    Eyn Sendbriff … uber die frage. Ob auch yemandt, on glawben verstorben selig werden müge &c. An Er Hansen von...

    [Wittenberg, N. Schirlentz, 1522].

    First edition, rare, of a momentous letter on predestination addressed by Luther to his friend Hans von Rechenberg. Luther meditates on the subject of predestination and salvation by faith; while firm in his notion of faith as a necessary requisite for salvation, he outlines the possibility that...

    £1800

  15. MABLY, Gabriel Bonnot, Abbé de.

    Observations on the Romans. Written originally in French …

    London: Printed for R. Griffiths … 1751.

    First English edition of this Roman history (first published in the same year in Geneva as Observations sur les Romains). Mably studies episodes from the pre-imperial era (the seven kings, Gracchi and Punic wars), before skimming the vast majority of imperial dynastic rule to finish with a chapter...

    £875

  16. [MAFFEI, Giovanni Pietro and Emanuel ACOSTA.]

    Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volume. In quo hæc ferme continentur....

    Naples: Orazio Salviani, 1573.

    Third and best edition of the earliest detailed history of the Jesuit missions in the East, especially Japan. Included for the first time in this edition are five pages of Japanese characters in printed facsimile, ‘Specimen quoddam litterarum vocumque Japonicarum; desumptum e regis Bungi diplomate’...

    £4500

  17. [MANTUANUS, Baptista].

    De patientia aurei libri tres.

    Brescia, Bernardinus de Misintis, 30 May 1497.

    First edition of Mantuanus’s work containing -on recto of m3- a lengthy reference to America, one of the very few 15th century instances: a ‘mention of discoveries of islands in the Atlantic, noting their size and the fact that they are inhabited. Because none of the ancient geographers knew...

    £8000

  18. MEDITATION ET PRIERE DU JEUSNE,

    seigneur ouvre me levres, & ma bouche announcer ta loüange. Ps. 51.v.17.

    Se vend à Charenton, par Pierre Auvray, demeurant à Paris … [1670s?]

    First edition, extremely rare, of a prayer in preparation for a fast, published for sale in Charenton, the first Protestant centre in the Paris region.

    £850

  19. MILNER, Joseph.

    Practical Sermons, by the late Rev. Joseph Milner, M. A. Master of the Grammar School, and Vicar of the Holy Trinity...

    York: Printed by G. Peacock; and sold by Mathews … London; Deighton, Cambridge [and others in York, Hull, Leeds and Halifax]. 1800.

    First edition, rare, collecting 21 sermons with a biography of Milner (1745-1797), headmaster of Hull Grammar School and church historian. Milner was largely responsible for a revival in fortune of the Grammar School, where he took charge in 1767. As a clergyman he leaned towards a moderate Calvinism...

    £175