Continental

Contact Alex Day, Barbara Scalvini, Andrea Mazzocchi or Jonathan Harrison

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. 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

  2. [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

  3. ISOCRATES.

    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...

    £750

  4. [ITALIAN.]

    [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...

    £1250

  5. [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

  6. [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

  7. 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

  8. KING, Henry.

    A Sermon preached at St. Pauls March 27. 1640. Being the Anniversary of His Majesties happy Inauguration to his Crowne...

    London, Printed by Edward Griffin. 1640

    First edition of ‘a significant Accession day sermon’ (Oxford DNB) by the poet and royal chaplain Henry King, at this time Dean of Rochester, afterwards Bishop of Chichester. This sermon is a paean to the sovereign power of the King, taking as its text Jeremiah 1:10 (‘Behold, I have this...

    £350

  9. [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...

    £400

  10. [LEWIS, Thomas].

    English Presbyterian Eloquence: or, Dissenters Sayings ancient and modern. Collected from the Books and Sermons...

    London: Printed for T. Bickerton … 1720.

    First edition of a vehement anti-Presbyterian tract. The text comprises extracts from the work of contemporary Dissenting writers and politicians followed by Lewis’s own ‘Remarks’: ‘What vile Punning and Jingle is here, what a clutter about Melting and Ramming, and Firing, and Dismounting? Figures...

    £425

  11. 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...

    £2500

  12. 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

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

    Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volumen.

    Naples, ‘apud Horatium Salvianum’, 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’...

    £12000

  14. [MANTUANUS, Baptista].

    [MANTUANUS, Baptista]. De patientia aurei libri tres. [bound with:]
    CAPREOLUS, Helias. De confirmatione...

    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 of them,...

    £10000

  15. [MELANCHTHON, Philipp]. LAGUS, Konrad.

    Oratio de Platone.

    Wittenberg, [J. Klug], 1538.

    Only edition, exceedingly rare (one copy only in the US), of the main extant source for Melanchthon’s views on Plato. ‘Melanchthon’s view of Plato is known primarily from a Latin speech, which he asked Conrad Lagus to deliver’ (Hartfelder).

    £5000

  16. MELA, Pomponius.

    Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.

    [Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].

    Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia, was written...

    £35000

  17. MENDELSSOHN, Moses.

    Jerusalem oder über religiöse Macht und Judenthum.

    Frankfurt and Leipzig, n. p., 1787.

    First posthumous edition, originally published in 1783 by Friedrich Maurer in Berlin, of this later work by Mendelssohn (1729–1786), in which he supports religious and political toleration, and advocates separation of church and state and civil equality for Jews. The work was reprinted as recently as 2001.

    £250

  18. 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

  19. MORI, Ascanio de’.

    Giuoco piacevole.

    Mantua, Giacomo Ruffinello, 1575.

    First edition of a rare Renaissance collection of tales in prose and verse.

    £2750

  20. [NAUDÉ, Philippe, attr.

    author]. Histoire abrégée de la naissance & du progrez du Kouakerisme avec celle de ses dogmes.

    Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1692.

    First edition of the earliest work on the Quakers to be published in French. In his survey of English Quakerism the author gives voice to widespread contemporary English criticisms of the movement, radicalizing the charge of Socinianism into one of ‘pure deism’ and ultimately atheism.

    £1000