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.
Common of Martyrs; a complete folio leaf
Italy, Bologna, late 13th century.
Another leaf from the same manuscript with an historiated initial depicting Christ between two haloed figures in one compartment, and a sheep between two wolves in another compartment, was Quaritch Catlogue 1088, no. 48. For the predominance of an orange and blue palette in medieval Bolognese painting...
ANTONINUS OF FLORENCE, Saint.
Summa theologica [Pars II].
[Venice, Franciscus Renner de Heilbronn, and Nicolaus de Frankfordia, 1474].
First edition; a large, crisp copy of a rare and important incunable. This was the first appearance of any part of Antoninus’s Summa theologica, or Summa moralis, an ambitious work in four parts exploring the entire field of moral theology; this, the Secunda, is the part which deals with the seven...
Offenhertzige Bekäntniss, welche Bey unlängst geschehener Verlassung eines Academischen Amtes abgeleget worden.
[N.p., n.p.]Gedruckt im Jahr Christi 1698.
Very rare first edition of this work by the important German Protestant theologian and devotional writer Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714), written as an ‘Open-hearted confession’ following his resignation as professor of history at the university of Giessen. Having studied at Wittenberg, Arnold came...
Le Cabinet du Roy de France, dans lequel il y a trois perles precieuses d’inestimable valeur: par le moyen...
[No place or printer], 1581.
First edition, first issue, of this harsh criticism of the debauched church and rotten nobility and the resulting bad finances of France, anonymously published by a well-travelled Protestant physician, and writer on alchemy who was to become an associate of the reformer Fausto Paolo Sozzini, better known...
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church,...
Third and final edition of Baskerville’s octavo prayer book. The prayers for the Royal Family on cancels B8, C6, and D3 include the name of Queen Charlotte, whom George III married in 1761. This copy also includes the ‘occasional prayers’ which were only printed for part of the edition and are...
Psyche: or Loves Mysterie in XX. Canto’s: displaying the Intercourse between Christ and the Soule …
London, Printed by John Dawson for George Boddington … 1648.
First edition. Beaumont was one of the royalist fellows ejected from Cambridge in 1644, and he devoted his enforced retirement to the composition of this poem, a ‘religious epic’ representing ‘a Soule led by divine Grace, and her Guardian Angel ... through the difficult Temptations and Assaults...
[BENEDETTI, Giovanni Battista.]
Difesa de’ missionarii cinesi della Compagnia di Giesù, in risposta all’apologia de’ PP....
‘.In Colonia. Per il Berges’, 1700
First edition of this substantial defence of the Jesuit position in the Chinese Rites Controversy. It is a rebuttal of Noël Alexandre’s Apologia de Padri Domenicani missionarii della China (published, also under a false Cologne imprint, in both French and Italian in 1699); Alexandre,...
La Bible, qui est toute la Sainte Escriture du Vieil et du Nouveau Testament. Autrement, l’ancienne et la nouvelle alliance....
London, R. Everingham for R. Bentley and J. Hindmarsh, 1687.
First complete edition of the Bible in French to be printed in England, in a fine Restoration binding. This Bible, in the French Geneva version, was published less than two years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (22 October 1685) which saw about 50,000 French Protestant refugees move...
Iacobi Blanchoni ucessiensis adversus Ludovicum beneventanum abbatem selestensem defensionum liber.
Lyon, Jean de Tournes, 1550.
First edition of a very rare work of sixteenth-century Lyonnese Neoplatonism, an elegantly-printed de Tournes edition. Ostensibly a simple series of remarks against the theses of the (presumably sternly Scholastic) abbot of Selestan, this is a tract of Renaissance moral philosophy. The theme of...
Bolzano’s Wissenschaftslehre und Religionswissenschaft in einer beurtheilenden Uebersicht.
Sulzbach, J.E von Seidels, 1841.
First edition of this critical summary of the greatest works of Bolzano, The Theory of Science and The Science of Religion, first published in four-volume sets in 1837 and 1834, copiously illustrated with citations from the original texts.
[BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.]
La Liturgie. C’est a dire, le formulaire des Prieres publiques, de l’Administrations des Sacreman;...
A Londres, pour Jean Dunmore & Octavien Pulleyn le Jeune … 1667.
First edition of this translation, printed for the use of ‘toutes les Eglisses Paroissiales & dans les Chapelles de Isles de Jersey, Guernsey, & autres Isles adjacentes’, as well as for the French congregation at the Savoy in London.
BOOK OF HOURS, Use of Rome.
Hore intemerate virginis Dei genitricis Marie.
Paris, Gilles Hardouyn, c. 1515.
An apparently unrecorded issue of a rare Book of Hours in narrow ‘agenda’ format, preserved in an unusual and elegant contemporary or near-contemporary binding. Brunet and Lacombe both describe a colophon on the last page, not printed in this copy; it repeats almost verbatim the imprint at...
Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus,...
First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against...
Precationes Biblicae sanctoru[m] patrum, illustrium viroru[m] et mulierum utriusq[ue] Testamenti.
Strasbourg, Johannes Schott, 1528.
First edition, rare. The earliest Protestant prayer-books, of which this is perhaps the most notable example, often comprised prayers taken directly from (or adapted from) the Bible. Brunfels’s Precationes Biblicae appeared in the same year in German translation (Biblisch Bettbüchlein...
CADOGAN, William Bromley.
The Felicity of God’s Children, considered in a Sermon, preached upon the Death of a Lady, in the parish...
Reading: Printed and Sold by Smart and Cowslade; and sold by J. Rusher, Reading; Messrs. Robinsons, V. Griffiths ... & J. Matthews ... London;...
First edition, a funeral sermon by the popular preacher William Bromley Cadogan, a friend of John Newton, for the local widow Maria Littlehales, printed at the request of her children. A younger son of the third Earl of Cadogan, the well-connected churchman was vicar of St. Giles, Reading, and rector...
CAESAR, Caius Julius.
Rerum gestarum commentarii XIV … omnia collatis antiquis manuscriptis exemplaribus, quae passim in Italia,...
Frankfurt, Georg Rab for Jacopo Strada, 1575.
First Strada edition of Caesar’s Commentaries, with woodcut illustrations, annotated by the Feuillants against François Hotman. Prepared by the humanist scholar Jacopo Strada (1507 – 1588), Rab’s edition prints Caesar’s Commentaries with Aulus Hirtius’s additions, Eutropius’s epitome of...
Arrolandosi sotto le insegne di Gesù Cristo col prender l’acqua del santo battesimo nell’insigne cattedrale...
Vicenza, Tipografia Paroni, 1802.
Unrecorded broadsheet celebrating the conversion to Catholicism of Marco Mortera, a Jew from Vicenza.
A dissertation on miracles: containing an examination of the principles advanced by David Hume Esq; in an essay...
Edinburgh, for A. Kincaid & J. Bell, 1762.
First edition. This dissertation, expanded from a sermon preached before the provincial synod in 1760 is called by Mossner ‘the most elaborate of the eighteenth century and is further remarkable in that it drew comment from Hume himself’ (p. 292). Through an intermediary, the Reverend Hugh Blair,...
[CANONS REGULAR OF THE LATERAN.]
Regula et constitutiones Canonicorum Regularium congregationis S. Salvatoris, Ordinis Sancti Augustini....
Rome, apud Paulum Bladum, 1592.
The most complete edition, rare, of the Rule and Constitutions of the Order of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine of the Congregation of the Most Holy Saviour, printed on vellum, with two seemingly unrecorded cancels, from the library of a former Abbot General of the Order.
[CARTHUSIANS.] [GUIGO DE CASTRO, compiler.]
Repertorium statutoru[m] ordinis cartusiensis per ordinem alphabeti.
[Colophon:] Basel, Johann Amerbach, 1510.
First printed edition of the Statutes of the Carthusian Order, printed at the expense of the editor, Gregor Reisch (c. 1467–1525), author of the Margarita philosophica, for distribution to members of the Order only.