Continental

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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. 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...

    £650

  2. 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

  3. HORACE.

    Opera omnia.

    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.

    £600

  4. ISOCRATES.

    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...

    £750

  5. JUSTINUS, Marcus Junianius, and Lucius FLORUS. 

    [Epitome historiarum:] Justini historici clarissimi in Trogi Pompei historias...

    [Venice, Bartolomeo Zani, 3 February 1503.] 

    A thoroughly annotated copy of a greatly influential compendium of Trogus’s monumental forty-four-book Historia of the world from Babylon to the Augustan era. 

    £3800

  6. JUVENAL, Decimus Junius, and Aulus PERSIUS Flaccus. 

    D. Junii Juvenalis et Auli Persii Flacci satyrae. 

    Birmingham, John Baskerville, 1761. 

    Baskerville’s celebrated edition of Juvenal and Persius in its earliest state with no cancels, in splendid contemporary red morocco. 

    £450

  7. JUVENAL; Robert STAPYLTON (translator).

    Juvenal’s sixteen Satyrs or, a Survey of the Manner and Actions of Mankind. With...

    London, Printed for Humphrey Moseley … 1647.

    First edition of the first complete translation into English of Juvenal’s satires; the first six satires had been published in 1644 and were slightly revised here.

    £750

  8. [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...

    £300

  9. LACTANTIUS.

    Opera.

    [Venice], Vindelinus de Spira, 1472.

    A fine product of the first Venetian press, established in 1469 by Johannes de Spira and continued by his brother Vindelinus from 1470 until 1473. This was the fifth impression of the works of Lactantius, the hugely successful North-African early Christian writer.

    £30000

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. LUCRETIUS.

    De rerum natura libri sex.

    Paris, Hiérosme de Marnef and Guillaume Cavellat, 1567.

    Rare pocket edition of Lucretius, a reissue of de Marnef and Cavellat’s similarly rare 1564 edition, with the same collation. The great poem is preceded by Petrus Crinitus’s brief biography of the author.

    £600

  13. 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...

    £875

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. MERCURIALE, Girolamo.

    De arte gymnastica libri sex, in quibus exercitationum omnium vetustarum genera, loca, modi, facultates,...

    Venice, [Lucantonio II] Giunta, 1587.

    Third edition of ‘the first illustrated book on gymnastics’ (Morton). A physician occupying senior posts in the medical faculties of Padua, Bologna, Rome, and Pisa, Girolamo Mercuriale (1530–1606) draws heavily on accounts of ancient exercise to argue for its medical benefits, being the...

    £2750

  17. MILBANK, Augustus Sussex.

    A Treatise upon the political & social Condition of Europe, from the Fall of the Roman Empire, down to...

    [Richmond, M. Bell for] London, Messrs Hatchard & Son, and Richmond, M. Bell, 1847.

    First and only edition of a rare Yorkshire-printed treatise of social history by an amateur historian and educational enthusiast, inscribed by the author to the Countess of Sandwich.

    £125

  18. NEPOS, Cornelius.

    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....

    £275

  19. OVIDIUS Naso, Publius, and Pedro Sánchez de VIANA (transl. and ed.).

    Las transformaciones. [issued with:]...

    Valladolid, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, 1589.

    First edition, a copy of notable provenance, of perhaps the most successful early Spanish translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, by Pedro Sánchez de Viana (1545–1616), published along with his substantial commentary. In the age of Cervantes (another master of literary transformations), Ovid...

    £8000