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.
[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.
To tou Epiktetou encheiridion. Ex editione Joannis Upton accurate expressum.
Glasgow, Foulis, 1751.
The first miniature Foulis edition of Epictetus in Greek, and the first Foulis Epictetus in Greek only; it had been preceded by a larger format, duodecimo (1748) edition in Greek and Latin. A 1765 reissue was, according to ESTC, reset.
ERIGENA, Johannes Scotus.
De divisione naturae.
Oxford, e Theatro Sheldoniano, 1681.
First edition, very scarce: the principal work of ‘the one important philosophical thinker to appear in Latin Christendom between Augustine in the fifth century and Anselm in the eleventh’ (Encyclopedia of Philosophy); edited by Thomas Gale, Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge.
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,...
[FAMINE AND CROP FAILURE.]
[Bill issued for all parishes of Milan by the chancery of the Archbishop of Milan proclaiming a solemn...
Milan, 12 April 1710.
An apparently unrecorded poignant witness to an all-too-common ancestral fear: the real possibility of crop failure following a frosty spring. In April 1710 lingering frost must have caused great anxiety. The Archbishop of Milan orders a solemn procession to be held by the entire clergy of the...
[FRANCE and ITALY.]
A collection of manuscript and printed material pertaining to French territorial ambitions in Italy.
[1537 – c. 1630].
A collection of memoranda concerning French ambitions in the Italian peninsula during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.
Catullus Carmen 17.6 and Other Mysteries. A Study in Editorial Conflict, Eccentricity, Forgery, and Restitution....
London, The Author, 2020.
This partly historical, partly philological essay offers a general account of the early preservation, post-medieval recovery, and Renaissance evolution of the text of Catullus, with specific reference to one speculative reading in Carmen 17 (‘De Colonia’), and certain humanist twists and forgeries...
Die Zukunft einer Illusion.
Leipzig/Vienna/Zürich, Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag, 1927.
First edition, in the first issue of 5000 copies, of Freud’s work on the origins and future development of religion (the ‘illusion’ of the title), centred on the notion of religion as, in one form or another, wish-fulfilment and the longing for a paternal figure as a response to a realisation...
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).
Achilles. An Opera. As it is perform’d at the Theatre-Royal in Covent Garden ... with the Musick prefix’d to each Song.
London: Printed for J. Watts ... 1733.
First edition of Gay’s last ballad opera; he was arranging for its production at the time of his death. The work is a farcical burlesque of classical myth, in which Achilles, dressed as a woman, is admitted to the court of Lycomedes, who falls in love with him while he in turn is trying to woo...
The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire.
London, printed for W. Strahan & T. Cadell, 1776–88.
First editions of all six volumes of Gibbon’s ‘masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style’ (PMM). The first volume here is of the second variant (of two), with the errata corrected as far as p. 183 and X4 and a4 so signed.
De fide et legibus.
[Augsburg, Günther Zainer, c. 1475-6].
First and only incunable edition of this work covering reason, faith, love, error, idolatry, superstition, magic, and demonology. William of Auvergne (1180/90 – 1249), Bishop of Paris, was the most important of the pre-Scholastics. ‘He represents the first generation of Paris masters to make...
L’Antico progetto di Borgo Fontana dai moderni Giansenisti continuato, e compito opera del signor abate D....
Assisi, Ottavio Sgariglia, 1795.
Scarce first edition, in an attractive binding, of this anti-Jansenist work by the Catalan Jesuit Gusta (1744-1816), who had moved to Italy following the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain. Here he targets those involved in the controversial Synod of Pistoia of 1786, ‘the most daring effort ever made...
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...
The old, old Story, in two Parts: Part I. The Story wanted; Part II. The Story told.
London, William Macintosh, 1871.
‘545th thousand’ of an abridged Christian catechism in verse, by the missionary Hankey. The advertisements on the final page offer the same work in a halfpenny edition, an edition with musical notation, a German version, and an edition in William Moon’s type for the blind. The work was also published...
HEBER, Reginald, and Nicolas BARKER (editor).
A Letter from India.
The Roxburghe Club, 2020.
'I do not expect that with fair prospects of eminence at home, you should go to the Ganges for a mitre,’ wrote Sir Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, President of the Board of Commissioners for Indian Affairs, in 1819 to Reginald Heber at Hodnet in Shropshire, but in vain. Despite a growing reputation...
[Opera] Homeri quae extant omnia: Ilias, Odyssea, Batrachomyomachia, Hymni, Poematia aliquot, cum latina versione omnium...
Basel, [colophon: ‘ex officina Hervagiana’] Eusebius Episcopius, 1583.
First edition of Jean de Sponde’s Homer, his chief work of classical scholarship. A protestant humanist and poet from the Basque country, Sponde is best known today for his striking collection of lyric verse, the Sonnets d’amour and Sonnets de la mort published posthumously circa...
HOMER, and Alexander POPE (translator).
The Iliad of Homer. Translated from the Greek by Alexander Pope, Esq. Philadelphia,...
McCulloch, P. Stuart, 1795.
First American edition of Pope’s rendering of the Iliad. Pope began his reinterpretation of Homer’s epic poem when in his early twenties. Following several years of ‘great pain and apprehensions’, as Pope drafted his text on the backs of letters sent to him and his mother (now preserved...
Meditations de la seconde annee.
[France, c. 1700.]
Apparently unpublished set of meditations for the Sundays in the Liturgical year running from the seventh to the twenty-fourth week after Pentecost, shedding light on tools and practices put in places in the homiletic art. Themes range from reflections on the Eucharist, to consideration on mortality,...