GUZMAN, Rolando.The Modern Art of Fencing Agreeably to the practice of the Most Eminent Masters in Europe
London, Printed for Samuel Leigh, 1822.
12mo. xxxi (i), 240 pp., with 23 hand-coloured engravings by S. Hall (including frontispiece). The title page with a quote by John Locke on education: “Fencing has so many advantages in regard to health and personal appearance, that every gentleman of respectability ought to have so striking a mark of distinction.” Untrimmed, with deckled edges. Purple buckram, a little worn and faded, mostly to spine and corners of covers. Carefully revised and augmented with a technical glossary in French and English by J. S. Forsyth, who was a student of the fencing master Guzman Rolando. Occasional age-yellowing throughout. Tender hinges. Illustrations are fine. Bookplate of Robert R. Martin on front pastedown. A good copy.
L’ANGE, Jean Daniel and Charl. Deutliche und gründliche Erklärung der Adelichen und Ritterlichen frenen Fecht-Kunst…
Düsseldorf, Getruckt bey der Wittib Bayers, 1708.
SECOND EDITION. Oblong 4to. A-S4 (lacking last blank leaf). Gothic letter and sporadic Italic. Head-piece and floriated initials. 61 engravings of fencing scenes and an initial full-page portrait of the author Jean Daniel. Early inscriptions on front pastedown. Rebound in brown morocco keeping about 85% of the old binding and pastedowns. Some light soiling, browning and dumpstaining to margins. Occasional thumb marks. An excellent and fresh copy. Very rare.
The title translates as “A Clear and Thorough Explanation of the Noble, Chivalric, and Free Art of Fencing”. First published in 1664, this German fencing manual was written by Jean Daniel L’Ange of Darmstadt. It treats the use of the single rapier and seems to fall into the tradition of the famous Italian fencing master Salvator Fabris.
According to WorldCat, there are a few copies in German public collections and only one in Britain at the BL.
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.
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 [Hirtius, A.]: (Coustellier, A.U., Ed.) C. Jullii Ceasari quae extant opera. Commentariorum de bello gallico, libri septem
Paris, Typis Josephi Barbou, 1755.
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.
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.
THE WAR OFFICE. Training Notes for Clerk Orderlies of the Army Dental Corps (26, Manuals, 1388)
Her Majesty’s Stationery Office,1940.
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)