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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. CARTARI, Vincenzo. 

    Le imagini con la spositione de i dei de gli antichi. 

    Venice, per Francesco Marcolini, 1556. 

    First edition of Cartari’s influential and successful treatise on the mythology of the ancients. Cartari concentrated on the iconography of the gods, explaining their guises and detailing their several attributes. His book was expressively written to aid artists, painters, and sculptors to...



    [GUIGO DE CASTRO, compiler.]  Repertorium statutoru[m] ordinis cartusiensis per ordinem alphabeti. 

    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. 


  3. CASAL, Gaspar do.

    Axiomata christiana ex divinis scripturis & sanctis patribus.

    Coimbra, João da Barreira and João Alvares, 1550.

    First edition of Gaspar do Casal’s major work of theology, which informed his participation in the Council of Trent, from the library of another participant in the Council.


  4. CASTELLESI, Adriano. 

    Hadriani cardinalis de vera philosophia libri IIII ex quatuor ecclesiae doctoribus conscripti, varia eruditione...

    Cologne, Melchior von Neuss, 1540. 

    A fine sammelband of theological works, with interesting provenance.  The De vera philosophia (first published Bologna, 1507) is the most important work of the Italian cardinal and English agent in Rome, Adriano Castellesi (c.1461–1521).  ‘The dedication to Henry VII suggests that...



    Dialogo della serafica vergine, et sposa di Christo S. Catherina da Siena.  Diviso in quattro trattati...

    Venice, Giacomo Cornetti, 1589.

    Uncommon reprint of the 1579 edition (Venice, Domenico Farri) of Saint Catherine of Siena’s famous Dialogo, thought to have been composed between 1377 and 1378, and to have been largely dictated by the saint while she was in a state of ecstasy.  It is here divided into four parts, on discretion, prayer,...


  6. CATTANI DA DIACCETO, Francesco. 

    Homelie … sopra la sequenza del corpo di Christo. 

    Florence, Lorenzo Ducale, 1559.

    Uncommon first edition of a collection of eleven sermons by Francesco Cattani da Diacceto (1531–1595), bishop of Fiesole, dedicated to Cosimo I de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. 


  7. CAVALCANTI, Bartolomeo. 

    La retorica … divisa in sette libri, dove si contiene tutto quello, che appartiene all’arte Oratoria. In...

    Venice, Gabriel Giolitto, 1559. 

    Second edition, published in the same year as the first with a few amendments, of the earliest Italian and most innovative treatise on rhetoric.  The author ‘builds an original account of rhetoric by adding Ciceronian and Hermogenean material to an Aristotle base’ (Mack, p. 172). 


  8. [CHARITY.]

    Costituzioni della Congregazione della Carità di Parma sotti gli auspizi di San Filippo Neri rinnovate nell’anno...

    Parma, Stamperia Reale, [1778].

    Uncommon set of constitutions for the Congregazione della Carità of Parma, printed after its refoundation in 1777. After a brief introduction, the constitutions set out the procedures for the election of the confreres and their reception, the times and order for meetings, discipline within the...


  9. CHARRON, Pierre.

    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.


  10. [CHARTONNET, Antoine-François.] 

    Considerations sur les devoirs des personnes qui sont engagées par leur état à servir les...

    Paris, chez Edme Couterot, 1695. 

    Rare first edition of this religious manual of instruction aimed at those caring for the sick in hospitals, exhorting carers to look after the bodily and spiritual needs of their charges ‘with charity, gentleness, compassion, patience, diligence, zeal, respect and humility’. 


  11. CHEVALIER, André-Joseph, professor; A.J. BERENTS, compiler

    ‘Tractatus De Fide, Spe et Charitate Dictatus ab...

    [Douai, 9 March – 4 August] 1787. 

    A manuscript treatise concerning the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity as expounded in Thomas Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, compiled by a student at the University of Douai from lectures by André-Joseph Chevalier. 


  12. [CHINA.]

    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.


  13. CHRYSOSTOM, John. 

    [Opera: Homeliae.]  Que in secundo Ioannis Chrisostomi volumine continentur: Super Mattheum homelie 89 …...

    Venice, Stagnino & de Gregoriis, 1503. 

    First edition of Chrysostom’s Opera omnia, the second volume (of two), annotated throughout by two critical readers. 


  14. [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. 


  15. [CICERO, Marcus Tullius.]

    Commentarii Philippicarum Marci Ciceronis cum annotationibus Georgii Trapezuntii Philippi Beroaldi et...

    Paris, Thomas Caseus for Jean Petit, [1514].

    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...


  16. [COLONNA, Francesco.] 

    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. 



    Sommario dell’indulgenze, e grazie perpetue concesse dalla santità di N. S. Papa...

    Genoa, per il Casamara, 1781. 

    Unrecorded booklet summarising indulgences granted to male and female members of a confraternity established in the church of St Anthony the Great at Genoa in 1465, by popes Paul V and Pius VI.  The summary ends with a devotion to the Five Holy Wounds, under the auspices of which the confraternity...


  19. CONTI, Natale. 

    Mythologiæ, sive explicationis fabularum, libri decem.  In quibus omnia propè naturalis & moralis philosophiæ...

    Frankfurt, the heirs of André Wechel, 1584. 

    The Mythologiae of Natale Conti (Natalis Comes), first published Venice 1567, was a standard reference work for classical mythology in the later Renaissance, treating the corpus as allegories that syncretized ancient philosophy and could thus be decoded by the initiated reader. 


  20. CORTÈS, Gioacchino. 

    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...