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.
[HORAE, (Use of Paris.]
Hore in laudem beatissime virginis Marie: secundum consuetudinem ecclesiae parisiensis.
[Colophon:] Paris, Simon du Bois for Geoffroy Tory, 22 October 1527.
A fine, uncoloured copy of this unusual and beautiful Book of Hours published by the humanist bookseller and designer Geoffroy Tory. The woodcut borders and Italian-influenced illustrations appear here for the first time.
[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.
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...
with Canticles, Pater Noster, Te Deum and Office of the Dead
North-western Italy, perhaps Asti, mid-15th century.
A substantial and attractive office book of Carthusian Use, bearing the medieval ownership inscription of the major charterhouse at Valmanera (Asti) in Piedmont and probably made for them.
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....
HORAE, B.M.V., Use of Rome.
Ces présentes heures a lusaige de Ro[m]me fure[n]t achevez lan Mil. CCCC. iiii. xx. [et] xviii. le...
Paris, Philippe Pigouchet for Simon Vostre, 22 August 1498.
One of the most beautiful printed Books of Hours of the late fifteenth century. Fifteen of the large cuts, all attributed to the Master of the Apocalypse-Rose, belong to Pigouchet’s fine second series of Hours illustrations, first used in 1496. Seven cuts, representing Pigouchet’s third...
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).
[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.
Opuscula Mathematica, philosophica et philologica. Collegit partimque Latine vertit ac recensuit Joh. Castillioneus...
Lausanne and Geneva, Bousquet & soc., 1744.
First edition of Newton’s collected works edited and introduced by the Pisa alumnus Giovanni Salvemini da Castiglione. The edition contained twenty-six works which, while having appeared previously, were not easily accessible, from Newton’s mathematical works and optical lectures, which were greatly...
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...
Advis de la bien heureuse mort de cinq religieux de la Compagnie de Iesus, & d’aucuns autres seculiers,...
Paris, Thomas Brumen, 1584.
Very rare first edition in French of the letter sent by the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano (1539-1606) in late December 1583 to Claudio Acquaviva, the Society’s Superior General, reporting on the deaths of five Jesuit missionaries in the village of Cuncolim in the district of Salcete...
[MAFFEI, Giovanni Pietro and Emanuel ACOSTA.]
Rerum a societate Jesu in oriente gestarum volume. In quo hæc ferme continentur....
Naples: Orazio Salviani, 1573.
Third and best edition of the earliest detailed history of the Jesuit missions in the East, especially Japan. Included for the first time in this edition are five pages of Japanese characters in printed facsimile, ‘Specimen quoddam litterarum vocumque Japonicarum; desumptum e regis Bungi diplomate’...
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...
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.
ENRIQUEZ GOMEZ, Antonio.
La culpa del primero peregrino. Dedicado a la serenissima Princesa y Madama Margarita de Lorena Duquesa...
Rouen, Laurens Maurry, 1644.
Rare first edition, and the only edition to be published during the author’s lifetime, of this Spanish dramatized version of the Fall.
ITALY – LOMBARDY.
Letters patent by Giovanni de Sigestro, Vicar General of the minorite friars in the cismontane province, granting...
A beautifully written and illuminated Italian Renaissance charter.
Physica curiosa, sive mirabilia naturae et artis, libris XII. comprehensa, quuibus pleraque, quae de angelis, daemonibus,...
Würzburg & Nuremberg, Jobst Hertz for Johann Andreas Endter & heirs of Wolfgang Endter, 1667.
Preferred second edition, considerably expanded, of Schott’s Physica curiosa. As the title suggests, the Physica curiosa contains details on all sorts of oddities: the work begins with a chapter on angels and demons, followed by ghosts, a chapter on man, and a copiously illustrated...
Sententiae Hebraicae ad vitae institutionem perutiles breviter explicatae, et praeclarissimis dictis tam sacrarum...
Vienna, Michael Zimmermann, 1563.
First edition; very rare. A collection of Hebrew proverbs ‘very useful for the regulation of life’, with accompanying translation and commentary in Latin and German.
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.
Eyn Sendbriff … uber die frage. Ob auch yemandt, on glawben verstorben selig werden müge &c. An Er Hansen von...
[Wittenberg, N. Schirlentz, 1522].
First edition, rare, of a momentous letter on predestination addressed by Luther to his friend Hans von Rechenberg. Luther meditates on the subject of predestination and salvation by faith; while firm in his notion of faith as a necessary requisite for salvation, he outlines the possibility that...