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.
Tabula processum seu ordinem ultimi divini et criminalis judicii exhibens; cum adjunct eiusdem brevi demonstratione...
Cleves, Gerhard Verstegen, 1625.
First edition of this strange and rare treatise on the Apocalypse and the Last Judgement, illustrated with dramatic plates by Gillis van Scheyndel. It is the first book printed at Cleves in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany. At the head of each plate appears a letter (or letters) which serve...
Postill, Dat is, Uthlegginge der Evangelien so up de Sondage und Göttlike feste in der gemene Gades.
Bremen, Thomas de Villiers, 1617.
Very rare first and only edition of this Reformed Postilla in Low German, translated by Tobias Pezel, the preacher and theologian son of another famous Reformed theologian and promoter of the Confession in Nassau and Bremen, Christoph Pezel.
PLINY, the Elder.
C. Plini secundi des wijdt-vermaerden natur-kondigers vijf boecken. Handelende van de nature. I. Vande menschen....
Amsterdam, [Christoffel Cunradus for] Joost Hartgers, 1650.
One of several Dutch editions of selections from Pliny’s Natural History to appear in the half-century following the publication of the first Dutch translation in 1610. The present edition, like many of the others, is enlarged to include much information not available to Pliny (the additions are printed...
Altare Christianum: or, the dead Vicar’s Plea. Wherein the Vicar of Gr. being dead, yet speaketh, and pleadeth...
London, Printed by Richard Badger. 1637.
First edition, from the library of Robert Southey, with an ownership inscription an eleven-line note in his distinctive diminutive hand.
[Basel, Henricus Petri, 1567].
Rare first edition of Pomponazzi’s essay On fate, free will, and predestination (De fato… libri V), published posthumously in this collective edition prepared by his pupil Gulielmus Gratarol. Gratarol’s editions of Pomponazzi’s writings were instrumental in divulging the thought of one of the...
De rebus a Iudaeoru[m] principibus in obsidione fortiter gestis, deq[ue] excidio Hierosolymorum, aliarumq[ue]...
Cologne, Jaspar Gennepaeus, 1544.
An early edition of this popular Latin account of the Jewish War of 66-73 AD, with a dedication by Philipp Melanchthon. The text borrows heavily from the Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, and is attributed in extant manuscripts either to Hegesippus –...
RAMUS, Petrus. (Commentator) - VIRGILIUS MARO, Publius.
Georgica, P. Rami professoris regii praelectionibus illustrata, ad Carolum...
Second editions of Ramus' extensive commentaries on Virgil's two poems on country life, which he wrote in order to react against the dry doctrines of several French schools who based their teaching of nature on Aristotle's physics. He wanted to keep in contact with the concrete realities of nature and...
RICCI, Giovanni and PORTA, Ercolano.
Storia della missione francescana e del Vicariato Apostolico del Hunan meridionale dalle sue...
Bologna, Stabilimenti tipografici riuniti, 1925.
First and only edition of this history of the Franciscan Mission in South Hunan from its establishment to 1924, with particular attention to the persecution of the Christians during the Boxer Rebellion and the following years of restoration and progress of the mission. The appendix comprises letters,...
La vérité defendue pour la religion catholique. En la cause des Iesuites, contre le Plaidoyé d’Antoine...
Toulouse, Veuve de Jacques Colomiez, 1595.
First edition of Richeome’s vindication of the Jesuits against the charges made by Antoine Arnaud in his famous defence of the University of Paris in 1594. Richeome (1544-1625), known as the ‘French Cicero’, was one of the leading French Catholic controversialists of his age and played a crucial...
Satire, dedicate a Settano.
“In Amsterdam, Presso Severo Prothomastix” [Rome, c. 1690].
The literary triumph of the great Baroque painter. This is the true first edition, not to be confused with the reprints and counterfeits. No.1 in Uberto Limentani, Bibliographia della vita e delle opere di Salvator Rosa (Florence, 1995).
A Paraphrase upon the Psalmes of David and upon the Hymnes dispersed throughout the Old and New Testaments …
London … 1636.
First edition, a fine copy of these psalm paraphrases by the poet and adventurer George Sandys (1578-1644) who was hailed by Dryden as ‘the best versifier’ of his age.
[SAVONAROLA]. POLITO, Ambrogio Caterino.
Discorso … contra la dottrina, et le profetie di Fra Girolamo Savonarola.
Venice, Giolito, 1548.
First edition, very rare (‘raro e ricercato’, Bongi), of a condemnation of Savonarola’s theology, doctrine and prophecies by a former Savonarola acolyte, ‘one of the most fiery Catholic polemicists of his times’ (ibid., our translation), who four years earlier had published a...
Richardi Sbrulii equitis Foroiuliani Cesareiq[ue] poete ad magnificu[m] atq[ue] illustrem Maximilianu[m] Seuenbergensem:...
[Colophon:] Augsburg, Hans von Erfurt, 1519.
First, very rare, edition, of Sbruglio’s Latin poems addressed to Maximilianus Transylvanus, published in the year that Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor. A native of Cividale in northern Italy, Sbruglio (c. 1480 – after 1525) studied and taught at Wittenberg (where the rector compared him to Ovid),...
SFORZA, Ludovico, Duke of Milan.
Letters patent granting various castles and lands to Bertrando de’ Rossi, Count of Berceto,...
A significant document issued during the Italian War of 1494–1498 by Ludovico Sforza (also known as Ludovico il Moro, duke of Milan 1494–1499).
[Graece et Latine]. Sententie ex thesauris Graecorum delectae... à C. Gesnero... traductae.
Basel, [printed by Oporinus for Froschauer, 1549].
Second, ‘in every respect preferable’ (Dibdin) edition of Gesner’s Stobaeus, acclaimed as ‘the first critical impression of the text of the Florilegium’ (idem), philologically and critically much superior to the first, published in 1543. Gesner’s parallel printing of the Greek...
Via vitae aeternae iconibus illustrata per Boetium a Bolswert.
Antwerp, Martin Nutius, 1620.
First edition, a very clean, attractive copy, of an emblem book which unites the spiritual meditations and practices of the Belgian Jesuit Antoine Sucquet with fine emblematic illustrations devised by the great baroque engraver Boetius a Bolswert (c. 1580-1633), called by Praz ‘the illustrator...
Betydande frågor om handelen, wid tilfålle af de motsäjelser, som skedde emot den sista billen, om utlänningars...
Stockholm, Jon. G. Langes [colophon: N. v. Oelreich], 1763.
First Swedish edition, scarce, of this history on the treatment of foreign residents in Britain, Reflections on the Expediency of a Law for the Naturalization of Foreign Protestants (1751–1752). This book comprises only the main body of Part II (1752), ‘Important Queries occasioned by The Rejection...
TYRTAEUS and CALLINUS.
Les chants...traduits en vers par Firmin Didot.
Paris, Firmin Didot, pere et fils, 1827.
One of only 100 copies - all hors de commerce - of this deluxe folio Didot edition of some of the oldest martial elegy verses of the Western tradition: the surviving works of the Spartan poet Tyrtaeus and the Ephesian poet Callinus (7th-6th century BC). The text is preceded by an engraved Lettre to Firmin...
Βυζαντιναι Μελεται [Byzantine Studies]...
Athens, Christos Nikolaidos, 1857.
First edition. Spyros Zampelios was a champion of the continuity theory in the history of the Greek nation in the crucial decades of the mid nineteenth century, and the first Greek historian to adopt a tripartite examination of historical periods, divided into ancient, medieval and modern Hellenism....
Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangères, par quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus.
Paris, [variously:] Jean Cusson, Nicolas le Clerc, Jean Barbou, P.G. le Mercier, Boudet, Marc Bordelet, H.L. Guerin, L.F. Delatour, Rualt,...
A very rare complete first edition set of the enormously significant Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, ‘the most valuable 18th-century source on Jesuit activities in frontier regions throughout the world’ (Hill Collection of Pacific Voyages) and a monument to Jesuit missionary and scientific zeal....