ANGELO, Domenico

THE GREATEST FENCING BOOK OF THE 18TH CENTURY

ANGELO, Domenico (1716–1802). L’Ecole des Armes [L’Ecole des Armes avec l’explication générale des principales attitudes et positions concernant L’Escrime, Dediée à Leurs Altesses Royales Les Princes Guillaume-Henry et Henry Frédéric].

London, R. & J. Dodsley, Pall Mall, 1763.

£7500

Oblong folio, 5 preliminary leaves (title, dedication, preface, list of subscribers; these leaves individually lettered a–e) followed by 47 black and white engraved plates, mixed in with unnumbered but individually lettered leaves of instructions (the first lettered f (in the sequence of prelims.); thereafter A–Fff, i.e., without the j’s, u’s and w’s as per standard printing style, in total 1 plus 52 leaves), followed by 2 leaves (table and errata). Title-page slightly dusty with a small flaw in a blank portion, occasional further light spotting, two mends, one to a tear in a blank portion, the other replacing an outer corner (blank), an excellent copy, bound in modern gilt-ruled full red morocco, title in gilt on upper cover, spine gilt.

FIRST EDITION of a comprehensive manual on the art of fencing, dedicated to the princes William Henry and Henry Frederick. Fencing was an indispensable part of a gentleman’s education, which Englishmen seem usually to have learned abroad until 1755, when Angelo came to London in the company of the celebrated beauty Peg Woffington. Early in his time in the country, Angelo scored impressive victories in public matches against English and Irish social fencers. His ensuing fame gained him key clients at court and in the royal family (amongst the first were the Duke of Devonshire and the Prince of Wales). Angelo and his descendants went on to train generations of wealthy English youth in fencing and horsemanship.

The ‘Ecole des Armes’, which was often reprinted, presents the classical foil fencing of the French school. The 47 illustrations, each of which is a chef-d’oeuvre, were drawn from life by John Gwynn, a founding member of the Royal Academy, with Angelo posing as the main figure. Angelo’s work was selected as the chapter on ‘Escrime’ in the ‘Encyclopédie’ of Diderot and d’Alembert.

CAESAR, Caius Julius

CAESAR, Caius Julius [Hirtius, A.]: (Coustellier, A.U., Ed.) C. Jullii Ceasari quae extant opera. Commentariorum de bello gallico, libri septem

Paris, Typis Josephi Barbou, 1755.

£2250

12mo, 2 vols. Vol. 1: frontispiece, 2 leaves without signature (half-title and title), pp. xxvii, 360, plus 2 fold-out maps; vol. 2: 2 leaves without signature (half-title and title), pp. 455 (1), 2 fold-out maps, plus a final leaf with publisher’s catalogue. Fine crisp volumes bound in burgundy morocco, with elaborately gilt-tooled foliated designs stamped in gilt on spines and covers, gilt dentelles, labels in green morocco (slight loss to head of spine in vol. 2, light stain towards tail, blue silk endpapers, a.e.g. A lovely binding. Ownership medallions of James Hartmann glued on the recto of first front fly leaves of both volumes. Hartmann was a C19th English book collector, especially of French editions; then this work entered in the Silke Montague collection, as shown by stamps found above the Hartmann bookplates.

Barbou’s elegant edition of Caesar’s commentaries, with supplements by his general Aulus Hirtius. This was part of a library of the classics prepared for this publisher by A.U. Coustellier; the catalogue as of 1755 is found at the end of the second volume here. For the aid of the book-collector, a list of editions of Caesar, from the first, Rome, 1469 (now Goff C16) onwards, is added to the works.

 

ARMY & NAVY STORES LTD

ARMY & NAVY STORES LIMITED. General Price List 1935-36

London, Purnell & Sons Paulton, [1935?]

4to, pp. 1138, copiously illustrated throughout with commercial images. Bound in red buckram over boards, title in black to spine. Covers printed in black with title and decorations.

R.A.F., Air Ministry

R.A.F., Air Ministry. Report on the Qualifying Examination for the R.A.F. Staff College

 London, [Printed and Published by his Majesty’s Stationery Office?], 1937.

8vo, pp. 55. Bound in paper wrappers with back cover missing. Booklet “Issued for the information and guidance of all concerned, By Command of the Air Council, Donald Banks”.

R.A.F., Air Ministry

R.A.F., Air Ministry. Manual of Administration in the Royal Air Force

London, [Printed and Published by his Majesty’s Stationery Office?], 1938.

8vo, pp. 154. Bound in paper wrappers and annotated throughout in pencil. “This manual is promulgated for the information and guidance of all concerned, By Command of the Air Council, Donald Banks”.

R.A.F., Air Ministry

R.A.F., Air Ministry. Drill and Ceremonial

London, Printed and Published by his Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1934.

8vo, 3rd edition, pp. 207, illustrated and with one folding plate. Book “Promulgated for the information and guidance of all concerned, By Command of the Air Council, C. Ll. Bullock”. Bound in quarter cloth (a thin cloth layer covering and reinforcing the spine) and cardboard covers. Autograph of owner on top outer corner of front cover. A piece of paper of the size of a postcard with annotations inserted.

ROYAL ARMY DENTAL CORPS

THE WAR OFFICE. Training Notes for Clerk Orderlies of the Army Dental Corps (26, Manuals, 1388)

Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1940.
£75

4t0, 29 pp., with illustrations and graphs, each leaf interleaved with blanks. Bound in original paper wrappers; “(Crown Copyright Reserved)”. Pen autograph of owner on upper outer corner.

“The wastage of fit soldiers through lack of proper dental care during World War I highlighted the need for formal organisation and proper provision and the Army Dental Corps was formed on 4th January 1921. Dental Surgeons were initially granted a Short Service Commission of six years with the opportunity for selection to a permanent commission whilst servicemen joined for an initial engagement of seven years and went to the Army Dental Corps School of Instruction in Aldershot to train as Dental Mechanics or Dental Clerk Orderlies. The interwar years had been a period of growth for the ADC as they firmly established their role and position within the life of the British Army. During World War Two the ADC expanded rapidly, in numbers of serving personnel, the number of Dental Centres in the UK and in the variety of courses and training available including general anaesthesia, dental prosthetics, dental radiography and maxillo-facial.” (from the website of the Museum of Military Medicine)

EISENHOWER, Dwight

AUTHOR’S PRESENTATION COPY

 

EISENHOWER, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe.

London, William Heinemann, December 1948.

£2500

8vo, 2nd ed. (1st UK ed.), pp. 582, half title, half tone plates, numerous maps to the text. Lacking dust jacket. Red cloth over boards and silver lettering to faded spine. Two small white stains on front cover, pastedowns with maps of occupied Europe. Lower hinge fragile and slightly cracked, still resistant though. Blind-stamped logo of The Windmill Press (Kingswood, Surrey) on rear cover. Author’s presentation copy inscribed on dedication page (To the Allied Soldier, Sailor and Airman of World War II): “For David Halton with greetings and best wishes from a former commander in SHAEF, Dwight Eisenhower, July, 1949.” A very good copy. SHAEF was Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force. In December 1943 Eisenhower became commander of the Allied invasion of Europe, and from October 1944 he commanded all the Allied armies in the west. In 1952 he was elected 34th President of the United States.

Eisenhower’s account of war, widely thought to be one of the finest American military biographies, the NY Times considering that it gave “the reader true insight into the most difficult part of a commander’s life.” This is a later printing; the first edition was published the earlier the same year.

CAESAR, Gaius Iulius

CAESAR, Gaius Iulius. Commentariorum de bello Gallico libri VIII. De bello civili Pompeiano libri III. De bello Alexandrino liber I. De bello Africano liber I. De bello Hispaniensi liber I.

Lyon, apud Sebastianum Gryphium, 1543.

£185

8vo, pp. (lvi) 496 (xlviii), a-g8 d4 a-z aa-ll8, wanting the first 56 unnumbered pages (xlviii, a-g8 d4), except for one leaf (Aldus’s preface to the reader, d4?). Italic letter, a little Roman. Printer’s device on title page (lacking) and last. Woodcut initials. Occasinal early ink marginalia and recent pencil additions. In C19th blue paper wrappers, wrong title on paper label to spine (Caesar, Aldus, 1513). Some light toning, browning and marginal dampstaining throughout, a.e.r.

Printed by Gryphium in Lyon, this defective counterfeit copy includes Caesar’s commentaries edited by the Italian Dominican friar and humanist Giovanni Giocondo from Verona (1433-1515), which was first published in Venice by Aldus in 1513. This edition contains Caesar’s extant works: the “Commentarii de Bello Gallico”, Caesar’s account of his campaigns in Gaul, covering the period from 58 to 52 B.C.; and the “De Bello Civili”, covering the events of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey in 49 and 48 B.C.. Also included are Book VIII of the “Bellum Gallicum”, and the “Bellum Alexandrinum” (appended to the three books of the “Bellum Civili” as Books IV through VII), both attributed to Caesar’s lieutenant Aulus Hirtius. The volume concludes with an “index of people and places” by Raimondo Marliani. Admired for their style (most famously by Cicero) and read by both his supporters and detractors alike in antiquity, Caesar’s Commentarii fell into obscurity in the Middle Ages. It was in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that Caesar once again became the focus of intensive study, particularly in Italy, where the question of whether dictatorship or republic was the best model for government was hotly debated. In this debate, Caesar stood as the prime exemplum of the tyrant and Scipio Africanus was promoted as the emblem of the virtus romana of Republican Rome. Caesar’s military genius and skills as a politician were also much studied in this period and into the sixteenth-century. “The unadorned style of Caesar’s Commentarii, the rejection of rhetorical embellishments characteristic of true historia, the notable reduction of evaluative language- all contribute to the apparent objective, impassive tone of Caesar’s narration. Beneath this impassivity, however, modern criticism has discovered, so it believes, tendentious interpretations and distortions of the events for the purpose of political propaganda.” (Conte, “Latin Literature, A History”)