Gheyn, Maniement d'Armes, 1608 [and] Breen, De Nassausche Wapen-Handlinge, 1618
GHEYN, JACQUES DE AND ADAM VAN BREEN
Two works bound in one volume, comprising:
i. Gheyn, Jacques de. Maniement d'Armes, d'Arquebuses, Mousquetz, et Piques. Amsterdam: Robert de Baudous, sold by H. Laurens, 1608 (date corrected in manuscript to 1607), engraved title, 117 engraved plates, [Lipperheide 2058; STC 11810; STCN 40041645X, listing another issue printed in The Hague in 1608], plate 12 remargined, occasional light staining
ii. Breen, Adam van. De Nassausche Wapen-Handlinge, van Schilt, Spies, Rappier, ende Targe. The Hague, 1618, engraved title with printed overslip, 47 engraved plates (some folding), leaf C1 duplicated (both with printed overslip), [STCN 851080189], a few marginal repairs or tears
2 works in one volume, folio (375 x 264mm.), later calf gilt, rubbed, spine ends repaired
A good copy of Gheyn's famous illustrated work on musket, caliver and pike exercises, designed specifically for practical use on the muster ground. It was originally published in Dutch in 1607, but English and French editions soon followed (see lots 216-219). As well as profoundly changing military practice in Europe, the book also provided motifs for several kinds of decorative art. The Delft factories produced a series of tiles based on the engravings and at Clifton Hall in Nottinghamshire the designs were used for paintings on the panelling.
Johann II, Count of Nassau-Siegen is often seen as the moving spirit behind the work. While resident in the Netherlands between 1592 and 1597 he took part in the military campaign against Spain and recorded his observations in his so-called Kriegsbuch. In this, he concluded that arms drill as well as field drill were necessary for cavalry and infantry in the Dutch army, and conceived the idea of publishing an exercise manual for soldiers. An illustrated manuscript version of this work can be found in the Royal Library at The Hague, and it seems likely that this formed the basis for Gheyn’s work.
De Gheyn was an engraver by trade, having studied under Hendrik Goltzius whose engravings of Dutch officers in the 1580s probably influenced this work. Robert de Baudous was in turn a student of de Gheyn.
Bibliotheque du Baron de Marbot, armorial bookplate
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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