SCHWERDT, C. F .G. R.

SCHWERDT, C. F .G. R.. Hunting, Hawking, Shooting.

London, Privately printed for the author by Waterlow and Sons Limited, 1928–1937.

£3800

Large 4to., 4 vols., pp. xxiv 324; xvi 359 [i]; [x] 256; xiii 260. 265 plates in first three vols., 116 plates in fourth, plus frontispieces, and plates at end depicting Schwerdt’s bookplate.

Only 300 copies of this important bibliography were printed. The first three volumes, all published at the same time, are copy number 126 and the fourth, which was issued nine years later, is copy number 111.

GUZMAN, Rolando

GUZMAN, Rolando. The Modern Art of Fencing Agreeably to the practice of the Most Eminent Masters in Europe

London, Printed for Samuel Leigh, 1822.

£500

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

L’ANGE, Jean Daniel and Charl. Deutliche und gründliche Erklärung der Adelichen und Ritterlichen frenen Fecht-Kunst…

Düsseldorf, Getruckt bey der Wittib Bayers, 1708.

£4000

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

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.