Continental

Contact Alex Day, Andrea Mazzocchi, Jonathan Harrison or Sally Deegan

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. MELA, Pomponius.

    Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.

    [Venice, printer of Pomponius Mela, 1477].

    Second edition, very rare. This is the variant issue without date or place of printing, and is one of only five books known to have produced by the anonymous printer who has been named after the present edition. Mela’s description of the world, also known under the title Chorographia,...

    £25000

  2. GIBBON, Edward.

    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.

    £14000

  3. DASSIER, Jean and Jacques-Antoine.

    ‘An Explanation of Dassier’s Medals being a Representation of a Series of Events...

    London, c. 1795-1800.

    An exceptionally fine illustrated manuscript, with drawings after the series of sixty medals of Roman history from Romulus to the Age of Augustus produced by Jean Dassier and his son in 1740-1743. The drawings are executed with considerable finesse, adding detailed elements not clearly visible...

    £8500

  4. POCOCKE, Richard.

    A Description of the East, and some other Countries.

    London: W. Bowyer for the Author, [‘and sold by J. and P. Knapton, W. Innys, W. Meadows, G. Hawkins, S. Birt, T. Longman, C. Hitch, R. Dodsley,...

    First edition, demy folio issue. The traveller and cleric Pococke (1704-1765), was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and graduated BA in 1725, BCL in 1731, and DCL in 1733. His family’s ecclesiastical connexions and his facility at navigating the complexities of clerical patronage enabled...

    £8000

  5. MARLIANI, Bartolomeo.

    Urbis Romae topographia.

    Rome, Valerio & Luigi Dorico, September 1544.

    First illustrated edition (third overall), showing the archaeology and antiquities of Rome as known in the sixteenth century. First published in octavo by Antonio Blado in 1534 and reprinted at Lyons by Sébastien Gryphe later the same year, Marliani’s topography of Rome remained the foremost...

    £5500

  6. FULBECKE, William.

    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...

    £5250

  7. PLUTARCH [and Jodocus BADIUS Ascensius (editor)].

    Vitae … novissime … longe diligentius repositae, majoreque...

    Venice, Melchiorre Sessa [the elder] & Pietro Ravani, 26 November 1516.

    First substantially illustrated edition of Plutarch’s Lives, with signs of early reading. First published in this popular translation in Paris in 1514 by French scholar-printer Jodocus Badius Ascensius (1462–1535) in collaboration with Jean Petit, the text is here accompanied by seventy-eight...

    £4250

  8. DIO CASSIUS.

    Dione historico delle guerre et fatti de Romani. Tradotto di Greco in lingua vulgare per M. Nicolo Leoniceno. Con...

    Venice, Niccolò Zoppino, March 1533.

    First edition of Dio’s Roman History in any language, translated into Italian from the original Greek by Niccolò Leoniceno and preceding the Greek editio princeps, printed by Robert Estienne in 1548, by some fifteen years.

    £2750

  9. PLUTARCH.

    ...

    [(Colophon:)] Venice, Nicolao di Aristotile detto Zoppino, March]1525.

    An attractive illustrated edition of twenty-seven of Plutarch’s lives, extensively annotated by a Papal tax-collector, in a striking contemporary binding.

    £2750

  10. RAMUS, Petrus. (Commentator) - VIRGILIUS MARO, Publius.

    Georgica, P. Rami professoris regii praelectionibus illustrata, ad Carolum...

    Paris, 1564.

    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...

    £2000

  11. CELSUS, ‘Aurelius’ [Aulus] Cornelius.

    Aurelii Cornelii Celsi de re medica libri octo. Accessere in primum eiusdem, Hieremiae...

    Leiden, ex officina Plantiniana, apud Franciscum Raphelengium, 1592.

    Important Plantin edition of the De medicina of the first-century Roman encyclopaedist Celsus, accompanied with humanist commentary, this copy with annotations and with the ownership inscription of Charles Seron, doctor to Louis XIV.

    £1750

  12. BEVER, Thomas.

    The History of the legal polity of the Roman State; and of the rise, progress, and extent of the Roman laws.

    London, Strahan and Cadell, 1781.

    Sole edition of a legal history conceived along the lines of Gibbon’s history, an account that was meant to furnish leaders of the emerging British Empire with a helpful knowledge of the past from the perspective of the evolution of legal systems.

    £1500

  13. DIOGENES LAERTIUS, [and Henri ESTIENNE (editor)].

    Περι βίων, δογμάτων και αποφθεγμων...

    [Geneva,] Henri Estienne, 1570.

    First Estienne edition of The Lives of the Philosophers, a very important edition in the original Greek, ‘in which appear for the first time many passages discovered in manuscripts by Estienne’. ‘The volume also contains thirty-six pages of important textual annotations by Henri Estienne,...

    £1400

  14. PERUCCI, Francesco.

    Pompe funebri di tutte le nationi del mondo, raccolte dale storie sagre et profane.

    Verona, Francesco Rossi, 1639.

    First edition of Perucci’s extensively illustrated account of funeral practices, inscribed by a Scottish antiquary and documented book collector. A fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and later the Royal Society, Walter Bowman (1699–1782) travelled extensively over the course of five decades...

    £1350

  15. LACTANTIUS, L. Coelius, and Onorato FASCITELLI (editor).

    [Opera:] Divinarum institutionum lib. VII, De ira Dei liber...

    Lyons, Jean de Tournes and Guillaume Gazeau, 1548.

    First edition of Lactantius’ works to be printed by de Tournes and Gazeau, in an attractive contemporary French morocco binding, from the library of André Morellet, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, and translator of Beccaria and Jefferson.

    £1250

  16. LIVY, Titus, and Thomas RUDDIMAN (editor).

    Historiarum ab urbe condita libri qui supersunt, cum omnium epitomis,...

    Kincaid, & J. Brown, 1751.

    A very attractive set of the first Ruddiman edition. One of the last works prepared by Thomas Ruddiman (1674–1757), this ‘superb edition of Livy’ (ODNB) was highly praised for its accuracy and is a fine testament both to his classical scholarship and to his printing house. The son of a Banffshire...

    £1200

  17. [WESLEY, John (editor).]

    Excerpta ex Ovidio, Virgilio, Horatio, Juvenali, Persio, et Martiali: in Usum Juventutis Christianæ....

    Bristoliæ: Typis F. Farley … 1749.

    First edition of one of the textbooks that Wesley compiled for the school that he founded at Kingswood, Bristol, in 1748. Finding contemporary textbooks inadequate, he published an astonishing number of works for his pupils – grammars, editions of classics, and other introductions to learning....

    £1100

  18. [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...

    £950

  19. EPICTETUS.

    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.

    £900

  20. HORACE.

    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.

    £900