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.
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...
[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.
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...
[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was begun by Edward Browne while chaplain to Sir John Finch in Constantinople, perhaps incorporating an earlier, unpublished translation by William Bedell (the manuscript being listed in Griffiths’ Bibliography...
ITALY – LOMBARDY.
Letters patent by Giovanni de Sigestro, Vicar General of the minorite friars in the cismontane province, granting...
A beautifully written and illuminated Italian Renaissance charter.
[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...
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...
[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.
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,...
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...
[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...
in French and Latin, with readings from the Gospel of John, the Book of Wisdom, and Ephesians; a partial bifolium (leaves...
The use of French indicates that the parent manuscript was intended for a lay reader or audience, while the quality of the script and illumination points to a prestigious commission. The passages in French are each preceded by the first few words of the original Latin text, underlined in red.
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...
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: genuflection,...
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...
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...
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...
MORI, Ascanio de’.
Mantua, Giacomo Ruffinello, 1575.
First edition of a rare Renaissance collection of tales in prose and verse.
[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.
De vita excellentium imperatorum. Interpretatione et notis illustravit Nicolaus Courtin ... in usum serenissimi...
Paris, Frères Barbou, 1726.
An attractive later Delphin edition (first 1675) of the surviving biographies of the first-century BC Roman writer Cornelius Nepos. Part of an original series of ‘Lives of famous men’ (De viris illustribus), the surviving biographical sketches, mostly of generals, include Themistocles and Hannibal....