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Continental Books & Illuminations Browse All Titles

The Continental Department at Maggs specialises in books, manuscripts and illuminations from across Europe. We continue to produce at least one full colour catalogue each year.

The Department’s books are from the earliest years of printing - in the second half of the 15th century - up until the beginning of the 19th. We are experts in books printed in France, Germany, Italy, the Low Countries and Switzerland but also try to find books from the Iberian peninsular, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Particular areas of interest include incunabula, Greek and Latin classics, humanist and Reformation works, as well as important historical, philosophical and literary works. Books illustrated with woodcuts, etchings, engravings and lithographs are keenly sought as are examples of fine printing, binding and interesting provenance.

Manuscript fragments from before the 1000 AD are occasionally discovered but we generally have a good stock of illuminations, text leaves and some codices from the 11th to 16th centuries, mostly liturgical and devotional in content but also including theological, classical and mediaeval texts.

Featured Items

BIRAGO, Giovan Pietro

Illuminated initial "R" with miniature of the Resurrection on a full leaf on vellum from an antiphonal. N. E. Italy, c. 1480-
Christ rises from the tomb holding a banner while a guards stays sleeping, the initial painted in red and green with lush foliate extension which includes two large birds (one painted red, the other blue).Size of leaf: 595 x 440mm. 18 lines of text in a large liturgical hand, double columns, a little square musical notation.


De re militari libri quatuor. Sexti Iulii Frontinu ... de stratagematis libri totidem. Aeliani de instruendis rei militaris liber unus. Modesti de vocabulis rei militaris liber unus (Ed. G. Budé). Paris, apud Christianum Wechelum, 1535. [Bound with:] VALTURIUS (R). De re militari libri XII. Paris, apud Christianum Wechelum,
I. Wechel's device on title-page, large woodcut of a lansquenet (German foot-soldier) on verso and repeated twice more, one half-page diagram and 119 other full-page woodcuts of military men, arms and armour. Letter diagrams of military positions to text of Aelianus. Wechel's device on verso of last leaf. II. Woodcut printer's device at beginning and end and 85 near full-page woodcuts with 97 illustrations of military engines and demonstrations2 works in one vol. Folio. (292 x 195mm). [4]ff. 279pp.; [6]ff. 383pp. 18th century speckled calf , spine gilt in compartments, r.e. (joints and headcaps restored).


Opera, quae quidem extant, omnia . . . nuncque primum & Graece Latine in lucem edita . . . adiecta quoque sunt Eutocii Ascalonitae in eosdem Archimedis libros commentaria item Graece & Latine, nunquam antea excusa. Basle, Joannes Hervagius,
With numerous woodcut diagrams throughout.4 parts in one volume. Folio (308 x 210mm.). [4]ff. 139pp.; [4]ff. 163pp.; [2]ff. 65 [3] (last blank) ff.; 68 [3]ff. (lacking final leaf with printer's device). 17th century English reversed calf (expertly rebacked, new end-papers).

COPPOLA, Giovanni Carlo

Le Nozze degli Dei: favola... rappresentata in musica in Firenze nelle reali nozze de Serenissimi Gran Duchi di Toschana Ferdinando II e Vittoria Principessa d'Urbino.


De laudibus beatae virginis Mariae. [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, not after
Folio. (274 x 200mm). 165 leaves (of 166, lacking final blank). Gothic type, 36 lines, double column. 2-4 line initial spaces, alternating spaces filled in red, red paragraph marks, underlining and capital strokes. Single pinhole visible in the lower margins. Early 19th century ochre paper boards, spine label in red lettered in gilt, red edges (spine darkened, a little soiled and marked). Preserved in a box.