29 November 2007
WALLHAUSEN, Johann Jacobi von. Uchenie i khitrost ratnogo stroeniia pekhotnykh liudei. [Exercises and Strategies relating to the Military Formations of Infantry Men]. Moscow: Pechatnyi Dvor, 1647.
4° (311 x 205mm). 221 leaves (of 224: lacking the title, and leaves 8 and 13). Woodcut head-pieces and initials, 35 plates, many of these double-page and some folding, by Theodore de Bry. (Marginal soiling, some spotting and dampstaining, a few tears and wear in the plates, some loss in the folding plates.) Contemporary blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, brass catches (spine ends chipped, corners rubbed, lacking straps). Provenance: an early reader (inscriptions) -- unidentified 19th-century stamps and some underlining.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST BOOK OF MILITARY STRATEGY PRINTED IN RUSSIA. WITH ALL THE ENGRAVINGS AND IN AN EXCELLENT PERIOD BINDING. The Uchenie was published by order of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, and is 'THE FIRST SECULAR BOOK PRINTED IN THE MUSCOVITE TSARDOM' (Russia Engages the World). The translation of Wallhausen reflects a desire to introduce western European methods, and reform the Russian military nearly 40 years before Peter the Great. This work was included in the Hermitage's 2002 exhibition of 150 highlights of book culture from its collection -- the Hermitage copy lacks the title page and a plate, and is heavily worn; similarly the copy in the Ukrainian State Library is also defective. In North America WorldCat lists copies only at the New York Public Library, and at the Library of Congress. Muzeum Knigi, (Hermitage, 2002), p.100; Karataev 629; Katalog Knig Kirillicheskoi Pechati 409; Russia Engages the World, p.167; Sopikov 1585; Ukrainskaia Gosudarstvennaia Publichnaia Biblioteka 177.
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