Pre-1600

  • # 19024

    H.P. KRAUS RARE BOOKS

    A group of 90 H.P. Kraus rare book catalogues, 1940s-2000s

    The legendary Austrian-born New York antiquarian book seller Hans Peter Kraus (1907-1988) has been described by William Reese as ‘without doubt the most successful and dominant rare book dealer in the world in the second half of the 20th century’. His catalogues, filled with a breathtaking array of mediaeval illuminated manuscripts, incunables (books printed before 1501), and rare …

  • # 19444

    PARIS, Matthæus (circa 1200 - 1259); WATS, William (circa 1590 - 1649)

    Matthaei Paris, monachi Albanensis Angli, Historia major.

    Juxta exemplar Londinense 1640. verbatim recusa. Et cum Rogeri Wendoveri, Willielmi Rishangeri, authorisque majori minorique historiis, chronicisque mss. in Bibliotheca Regia, Collegii Corporis Christi Cantabrigiae, Cottoniaque, fideliter collata. Huic editioni accesserunt, duorum Offarum Merciorum regum; & viginti trium Abbatum S. Albani vitae. Una cum libro additamentorum. Per eundem authorem. Editore Willielmo Wats S.T.D. Qui & …

  • # 17442

    MACROBIUS, Ambrosius Aurelius Theodosius (fl. circa A.D. 395-425)

    Macrobii Ambrosii Avrelii Theodosii, uiri consularis, & illustris, In Somnium Scipionis, lib. II.

    Saturnaliorum, lib. VII. Ex uarijs, ac uetustissimis codicibus recogniti, & aucti. Venetiis [Venice] : apvd Io. Gryphium, 1574. Octavo, contemporary binding of limp vellum, ‘Macrobius’ lettered in manuscript to spine (which is darkened), original ownership inscription of ‘Joannis Josephus [i.e. Giovanni Giuseppe] Pugliese’, title page with printer’s device with motto Virtute duce, comite fortuna (‘under …

  • # 18892

    MARTYR, Peter (Pietro Martire d'ANGHIERA, 1457-1526), et al.; EDEN, Richard (translator) (c.1520-1576)

    The Decades of the newe worlde or West India, Conteyning the nauigations and conquestes of the Spanyardes, with the particular description of the moste ryche and large landes and Ilandes lately founde in the west Ocean perteynyng to the inheritaunce of the kinges of Spayne.

    … Wrytten in the Latine tounge by Peter Martyr of Angleria, and translated into Englysshe by Rycharde Eden. Londini : In aedibus Guilhelmi Powell, Anno. 1555. Colophon (one of four known variants): Imprynted at London in Paules Churchyarde at the signe of the Bell by Robert Toy … M. D. LV. Quarto (178 x 130 …

  • # 17833

    Book of Hours (Use of Rouen)

    Northern France (Rouen), c. 1490-1510. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment; with 4 large miniatures with architectural borders, 10 large arch-topped miniatures, 8 small miniatures, and 24 calendar miniatures by a follower of the Master of the Échevinage of Rouen and the Playfair Hours Master, with borders by Jean Serpin. ii (paper) + i (parchment) + 96 …

  • # 18334

    SIGONII, Caroli [SIGONIUS, Carolus, or, SIGONIO, Carlo] (c. 1524 - 1584)

    Historiarvm de regno Italiae libri quindecim,

    Ad illvstriss. atq. excellentiss. d. Iacobum Boncompagnum, Generalem, S. R. E. Gubernatorem. Basileae [Basel] : apud Petrum Bernum, 1575. Quarto, contemporary blind stamped panelled vellum over bevelled wooden boards, two clasps with engraved metal catches and clasps, endpaper with early nineteenth-century owner’s name, title page with Ex libris inscription of original owner Wilhelm Seema of …

  • # 15242

    SFORZA, Gian Galeazzo Maria, 1469-1494; [Isabella of Aragon, 1470-1524]

    A love letter to the Mona Lisa?

    A signed love letter of the young Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Maria Sforza (1469-1494) to his future bride, Isabella of Aragon (1470-1524). Sforza was later a confidant of Leonardo da Vinci; Isabella is considered by art historian Maike Vogt-Luerssen to have been the model for Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Bifolium, 300 x 210 mm, on paper bearing the …

  • # 15884

    BOEMUS, Johannes, 1485-1534

    Omnium gentium mores leges et ritus ex multis clarissimis rerum scriptoribus … collectos: & in libros tris distinctos Aphricam, Asiam, Europam, optime lector lege

    Augsburg : Augustae Vindelicorum excusa in officina Sigismundi Grimm medici, ac Marci Wirsung, 1520. [Imprint from colophon]. First edition. Folio, later vellum, three raised bands to spine; added title page: Repertorium librorum trium Ioannis Boemi de omnium gentium ritibus. Item index rerum scitu digniorum in eosdem, set within a decorative woodcut border, an old paper repair to centre; …

  • # 13331

    Acosta, Emanuel, 1541-1604, et al.

    Iesus. Cartas que los padres y hermanos de la Compañia de Iesus, que andan en los reynos de Iapon escriuieron a los de la misma Compañia,

    desde el año de mil y quinientos y quare[n]ta y nueue, hasta el de mil y quinientos y setenta y uno : en las quales se da noticia de las varias costumbres y idolatrias de aquella gentilidad : y se cuenta el principio y successo y bondad de los Christianos de aquellas partes. En Alcala …

  • # 14211

    [KHUBILAI KHAN, Emperor Chih-yüan]

    [CHINESE PRINTING] Printing block for paper money with an original value of 100 wen

    China, Yüan dynasty, reign of Khubilai Khan, circa 1287 C.E.. Stone, 210 x 135 x 22 mm, top edges bevelled (three sections skilfully rejoined); housed in a custom made cloth box lined with lambswool. An extraordinary item of early printing history that pre-dates by a century the earliest known instance of printing in the West, …

  • # 13442

    [EMPEROR ZHU YUANZHANG (MING TAIZU), 1328-1398]

    A 14th century Ming Dynasty 1 kuan note : an example of the oldest extant paper currency

    [China : c.1375]. Printed during the reign (1368-1398) of the first Ming emperor, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (Ming Taizu), a paper note with the original cash value of a string of 1,000 copper coins, or 1 kuan. Woodblock printed in black ink on a sheet of grey mulberry paper, 340 x 220 mm; recto with the Chinese characters …

  • # 16089

    [CAXTON, William] HIGDEN, Ranulph

    A leaf from William Caxton’s Polychronicon printed in 1482

    Westminster : William Caxton, 1482. Single leaf, 274 x 206 mm, rubricated in red with marginalia, further marginalia in black ink, light soiling, else fine. Framed. A specimen leaf from England’s first printer, William Caxton. Born in Kent some time between 1415 and 1424, Caxton moved to London in the mid-1430s and was apprenticed to …

  • # 15774

    BINSKI, Paul and PANATOYOVA, Stella.

    The Cambridge illuminations. Ten centuries of book production in the medieval West

    London : Harvey Miller Publishers, 2005 (reprint). Quarto, illustrated wrappers (slightly creased), pp. 415, extensively illustrated. Catalogue for a stunning exhibition of medieval manuscripts.

  • # 13440

    ALVARES, Francisco, 1465-c.1541; CORSALI, Andrea, 1487-?

    Warhafftiger Bericht von den Landen,

    auch geistlichem vnd weltlichem Regiment, des Mechtigen Könige in Ethiopien : den wir Priester Johan nennen, wie solches durch die Kron Portugal mit besondern vleis erfündiget worden. beschrieben durch Herrn Franciscum Aluares, so derhalben sechs Jahr lang an gedachts Priester Johans Hoffe verharren müssen ; aus der Portugallischen vnd Italianischen Sprache in das Deutsche gebracht, …

  • # 12308

    HAKLUYT, Richard (1552?-1616)

    The principal navigations, voiages, traffiqves and discoueries of the English nation, made by sea

    or ouer-land, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the earth, at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres, deuided into three seuerall volumes, according to the positions of the regions, whereunto they were directed. This first volume containing the woorthy discoueries, &c. of the English toward the north and northeast by …

  • # 11241

    CORSALI, Andrea, 1487-?; ALVARES, Francisco, 1465-c.1541

    Historiale description de l’Ethiopie contenant vraye relation des terres, païs du grand Roy,

    Empereur Prete-Ian, l’assiette de ses royaumes et provinces, leurs coutumes, loix, religion, avec les pourtraits de leur temples autres singularitez, cy devant non cogneues. Avec la table des choses memorables contenues en icelle. En Anvers [Antwerp] : De l’Imprimerie de Christopher Plantin, à la licorne d’or, 1558. Foolscap octavo, early twentieth century dark blue crushed …