Antiquarian Books

A Rare & Fascinating Glimpse Into Life Before 1700


The Manner of Ordering Fruit-Trees by the Sieur le Gendre - 1660The Knohl Collection has the world’s largest privately owned collection of English language first-edition books printed before the year 1700, with over 4,000 titles. This unique and extremely valuable collection of rare antiquarian books draws together a diverse array of printed sources from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, providing a glimpse into the intellectual, cultural, and political life in the beginning of the modern era. The collection contains the founding works of modern sciences, such as botany, anatomy, and astrology, and important accounts of travel, exploration and warfare. There is a strong representation of Restoration plays and other influential works of literature, philosophy, and humanist thought. Highlights in literature include a first edition of Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, and first edition English translations of Decameron and Torquato Tasso’s Gierusalemme liberata. There are books on alchemy, witchcraft, and “medical books” with household remedies for physical deformities, infectious diseases, mental illness, and female mood swings. Most of the books are still in their original binding and contain a beautifully engraved frontispiece. Dr. Knohl’s favorites are the meticulously illustrated anatomy books and chronicles of travel with rare engraved maps of the “New World.”