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.
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).
An Historicall Collection of the continuall Factions, Tumults, and Massacres of the Romans and Italians during...
London, Printed for William Ponsonby. 1601.
First edition. Fulbecke’s Historicall Collection ‘was a narrative history of the last years of the Roman republic and it is significant as one of the very few attempts by a Renaissance Englishman to write such a work … An interesting attempt to weave together such often-contradictory...
GASPAROLI, Carlo Maria.
Dialectica sive manuductio ad logicam dictata a R. P. Bar. De Somere. Scripta a me Car. Mar. Gasparoli....
A handsome manuscript comprising a thorough course in logic and dialectic, executed by a student at the Jesuit college in Antwerp, and illustrated with an extraordinary decorative programme inspired by printed emblems.
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...
GAZZOLI, Giacomo Maria.
Il Luminario de’ Ciechi. Operetta diretta all’universale del Giudaismo da Giacomo M.a Gazzoli già...
Parma, [Giambattista Bodoni] ‘Dalla Reale Tipografia’, 1797.
A rare typographic marvel featuring three distinct Hebrew typefaces by Giambattista Bodoni (1740–1813), in which Rabbi-turned-Catholic-zealot Giacomo Gazzoli exhorts the Jews of Italy to ‘emerge from a state of blindness into the light of Christianity’.
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.
GIRALDI, Lilio Gregorio.
De Deis gentium varia et multiplex historia, in qua simul de eorum imaginibus et cognominibus agitur,...
Basel, Oporinus, 1548.
First edition of the most important mythography to be published after Boccaccio’s Genealogiae deorum gentilium and before Conti’s Mythologiae, with extensive marginalia in the first part.
Greek and English dictionary, comprising all the words in the writings of the most popular Greek authors; in the...
London, for Cowie, Jolland & Co., 1838.
Seventh edition of Groves’s popular Greek–English dictionary, with charming doodles and cheeky notes by William Salked Brook of Woodbridge, Suffolk, dating from his time at Magdalen College School and then Oriel College Oxford (BA 1880). Brook appears to have inherited the volume from his father...
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...
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...
HALE, Matthew, Sir.
Contemplations moral and divine, in two Parts.
London, D. Brown, J. Walthoe, J. Sprint, M. Wotton, G. Conyers, and D. Midwinter, 1711.
An early eighteenth-century edition of Hale’s Contemplations in attractive contemporary English morocco. Though first and foremost a jurist, judge, and Commonwealth parliamentarian, Matthew Hale (1609–1676) wrote widely and extensively on other subjects: his Contemplations, first...
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...
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...
HOMER, William Cullen BRYANT (translator), and John FLAXMAN (artist).
The Iliad of Homer, translated into...
[Cambridge (MA), Riverside Press for] Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, & Company, 1905.
The large paper edition de luxe of the English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey by the American poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878). Bryant’s translations, first published in 1870 and 1871 respectively, are here accompanied by plates reproducing the exquisite...
Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie, eight Bookes [Bound with:] Certayne Divine Tractates … London, Printed...
… London: Printed by Will. Stansby, and are to be sold by Mat. Lownes … 1617.
Fourth edition, first issue, of the Preface and Books 1-4 (first published in 1593), third edition of Book 5 (first published in 1597), bound here with the third edition of ‘Certayne Divine Tractates’ (1631), issued with a 1622 general title-page (rather than the usual 1632).
Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera cum novo commentario ad modum Joannis Bond.
Paris, Didot, 1855.
The deluxe issue of Didot’s Horace, a fine early photographically-illustrated work, complete with all the photographic plates, headpieces and maps, and printed on fine paper.
Paris, [Didot fils for] A. Mesnier, 1828.
A scarce miniature edition of Horace’s works, printed by Didot fils with type cut by Henri Didot.
Letter of Indulgence (in Catalan), incipit ‘A Honor …’, granted by Cardinal Luis de Milá,...
[Lerida, Heinrich Botel, c. 1498.]
Extremely rare incunable indulgence in Catalan granted by Luis de Milá, 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, printed at Lérida, the second city of Catalonia, about one hundred miles...
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 whose work was highly influential on later education, oratory and writing. Isocrates (436–338 BC) studied under Socrates and the sophists, before establishing a famous school of rhetoric which attracted pupils from...
[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...