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.
[CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]
Tully’s three Books of Offices, in English. With Notes explaining the Method and Meaning of the...
London, [W. Onley] for Sam. Buckley, 1699.
First edition of this translation by Thomas Cockman, who had prepared an edition of the original text in 1695, here provides copious footnotes and an index. There were at least eleven further editions by the end of the eighteenth century.
[CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]
Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...
Paris, Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, .
Rare edition, attractively printed and with occasional contemporary annotations, of Cicero’s Philippics, comprising Cicero’s text along with the commentaries of the Cretan humanist George of Trebizond (1396–1486), the Bolognese rhetorician Filippo Beroaldo (1453–1505), and the Perugia...
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (Titus Flavius CLEMENS).
Paris, Sebastien Nivelle, 1572.
A thoroughly annotated copy of this early edition of the complete works of Clement of Alexandria, in the Latin translation of Gentian Hervet. Clement lived and wrote in the second and third centuries, one of the most important interpreters of Christianity within an established Greek philosophical...
Poliphili hypnerotomachia, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse ostendit, atque obiter plurima scitu...
Venice, [heirs of Aldus], 1545.
Second edition, scarcer than the first (also an Aldine, published in 1499), of the most beautiful illustrated books printed in Italy in the fifteenth century. Known for its fine woodcut illustrations, mysterious meanings, and the cryptic inclusion of Colonna’s name, the Hypnerotomachia...
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...
London, Millar Ritchie for J. Good and E. Harding, 1794.
A splendid copy of the Good and Harding Book of Common Prayer, in a striking masonic binding by John Lovejoy.
[CONFRATERNITY OF THE SACRED HEART.]
Devotion au Sacré Coeur de Jesus, pour les confrères de l’un et de l’autre sexe, reçus...
Toulouse, Jean-Henri Guillemette, 1757.
Very rare pocket-sized devotional manual for both male and female members of the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus established at the fourteenth-century Convent of Saint-Pantaléon of the Canonesses Regular of Saint Augustine in Toulouse.
[CONGREGATION OF THE ORATORY OF ST PHILIP NERI.]
A collection of seven componimenti sacri per musica for the Oratory of...
A collection of seven libretti for sacred oratorios, to be performed in the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Venice.
Dissertazione anti-Bolgeniana sopra la carità difesa dal suo autore l’abate Gioacchino Cortes contro...
Rome, Salomoni, 1793.
First edition of this response to and attempted refutation of Bolgeni’s Della carità o amor di Dio by the Spanish Jesuit Joachim Cortès. Della carità was the best-known work of the Jesuit theologian and controversialist Gianvincenzo Bolgeni, in which he had argued, against...
Piarum et Christ. institutionum libri tres, in usum sodalitatis B. Mariae Virginis primum conscripti, nunc...
Douai, Jean Bogard, 1582.
Very rare Douai edition of this devotional work by the Belgian Jesuit François Coster (1532–1619), first published at Cologne in 1578, illustrated with woodcuts of the Crucifixion and Our Lady of Sorrows.
CURTIUS Rufus, Quintus.
De rebus Alexandri Magni, cum commentario perpetuo & indice absolutissimo Samuelis Pitisci, quibus accedunt...
Utrecht, Franciscus Halma, 1685.
First Halma edition of Curtius’s history of Alexander the Great, with a series of accomplished etched illustrations by Jan van den Aveelen.
‘Conferences diaconales données par Mr l’abbé Darré, Vicaire Général au GrandSéminaire d’Auch. Année...
An attractively written manuscript of Abbé Darré’s practical manual for the use of young priests entering pastoral ministry, the text remaining unprinted, according to OCLC, until 1872.
DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine.
‘An Explanation of Dassier’s Medals being a Representation of a Series of Events...
London, c. 1795-1800.
An exceptionally fine illustrated manuscript, with drawings after the series of sixty medals of Roman history from Romulus to the Age of Augustus produced by Jean Dassier and his son in 1740-1743. The drawings are executed with considerable finesse, adding detailed elements not clearly visible...
DE LUCA, Giovanni Battista.
Il Cardinale della S.R. Chiesa pratico di Gio. Battista de Luca nell’ozio Tusculano della Primavera...
Rome, nella stamperia della Reverenda Camera Apostolica, 1680.
Scarce first edition of this thorough work on the cardinalate by the Italian jurist and cardinal De Luca (1614–1683). De Luca studied and practiced law at Naples before moving to Rome in 1645, where he established his reputation as one of Italy’s pre-eminent jurists and worked closely with...
DEZA, Diego de.
In defensio[n]es Sancti Thomae ab impugnationibus magistri Nicholai Magistrique Mathie.
Seville, Meinardus Ungut and Stanislaus Polonus, 4 February 1491.
First edition, institutionally rare and the only copy to have appeared at auction for at least the last half century, of the influential main work of theologian Diego de Deza y Tavera (1444–1523), a towering figure in the Spanish Renaissance.
Dione historico delle guerre et fatti de Romani. Tradotto di Greco in lingua vulgare per M. Nicolo Leoniceno. Con...
Venice, Niccolò Zoppino, March 1533.
First edition of Dio’s Roman History in any language, translated into Italian from the original Greek by Niccolò Leoniceno and preceding the Greek editio princeps, printed by Robert Estienne in 1548, by some fifteen years.
Bibliothecae historicae libri XV. Hoc est, quotquot Graece extant de quadraginta quorum quinque nunc primum...
Basel, Heinrich Petri, August 1559.
Important edition, the first to be overseen by Sébastien Castellion, of Diodorus’s influential ‘Historical library’. Although Diodorus’s text, published in Greek for the first time by Estienne in the same year, offers a history of the world from its inception until Caesar, it came down...
DIOGENES LAERTIUS, [and Henri ESTIENNE (editor)].
Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων...
[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 thirty-six pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne,...
Regola e costituzioni delle suore di S. Domenico riviste e ristampate d’ordine del rmo p. vicario generale...
Rome, Bernardo Morini, 1853.
Very rare first edition thus of the regulations governing Dominican nuns, published by order of Alexandre Vincent Jandel (1810–1872), who served as Master of the Order of Preachers from 1850 until his death.
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 RONDEL, Jacques.
La vie d’Épicure.
Paris, Antoine Cellier, 1679.
First edition of Du Rondel’s Life of Epicurus, a seminal work in the study of eighteenth-century Epicureanism; an important copy, from the distinguished library of Pierre-Daniel Huet.