Pre-1600

  • # 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 …

  • # 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 …

  • # 17468

    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 …

  • # 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 …

  • # 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, the manuscript in a …

  • # 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 …

  • # 15615

    POPE INNOCENT IV (Sinibaldo Fieschi), 1195-1254

    Papal bull of Innocent IV, dated 26 September 1252

    Innocent IV, born Sinibaldo Fieschi in 1195, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1243 until his death in 1254. This bull is addressed to the monastery of Moutiers-Saint-Jean de Réôme (in the village of Moutiers-Saint-Jean, Bourgogne). The document deals with the debts of the monastery and is dated 26 September 1252. Originally the bull would have been sealed …

  • # 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.

  • # 13309

    Osorio da Fonseca, Hieronymo (Jerónimo Osório, Bishop of Silves), 1506-1580

    De rebus Emmanuelis Regis Lusitaniae invictissimi virtute et auspicio gestis libri duodecim.

    Olysippone. Apud Antonium Gondisaluu[m] typographum. MDLXXI. [Lisbon : Antonius Gondisalvus, 1571]. First edition. Folio, later speckled calf (scuffed), spine with contrasting morocco title label and gilt ornament (small split at head); book label to front pastedown; pp 480, [2]; title page with woodcut cardinal arms, early ownership inscriptions; woodcut initials; a few stains (mainly to the …

  • # 13328

    Gonsalves, Gaspar, 1540-1590; Boccapaduli, Antonio, 1530-1593

    Acta consistorii publice exhibiti a S.D.N. Gregorio Papa XIII. regum Iaponiorum legatis Romae,

    die XXIII. Martii, M.D. LXXXV. Romæ : Apud Franciscum Zannettum, 1585. [Rome : Francesco Zanetti, 1585]. Quarto, nineteenth century blue goatskin binding ruled in triple gilt and signed by Emile Rouselle of Paris (corners rubbed), spine in compartments with gilt tooling, gilt dentelles; all edges gilt; marbled endpapers; pp 15; early manuscript foliation; title with …

  • # 13327

    Ciappi, Marc Antonio, active 1577-1601

    Compendio delle heroiche, et gloriose attioni, et santa vita di papa Greg. XIII … …

    In Roma : nelle stamperia degli Accolti, MDXCVI. [Rome : Accolti, 1596]. Second edition. Quarto, later vellum ruled in red; calligraphic lettering to spine; marbled endpapers; pp [viii],120, [8]; light foxing; title with woodcut printer’s device, portrait on verso; title with early inscriptions; numerous woodcut illustrations in the text, including the Jesuit seminaries in Japan, …

  • # 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 …