19 June 2014
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
ANGELO, Domenico (1717?-1802). The School of Fencing, with a general explanation of the principal attitudes and positions peculiar to the art ... L'Ecole des Armes. London: S. Hooper, 1765.
Oblong 2o (284 x 462 mm). English and French titles, text parallel in French and English, 47 engraved plates by Ruyland and Hall after J. Gruyn. Contemporary tree calf, smooth spine gilt in compartments, red morocco lettering-piece (extremities worn, front joint a little tender). Provenance: Francis Thomas de Grey, seventh Earl Cowper (1834-1905), lord-lieutenant of Ireland (bookplate).
First published in French in 1763, this is the first English and French edition. Angelo's superb work was the most important book to appear on the subject in England since the treatise of Vincentio Saviolo. And its influence was not confined to England: Diderot incorporated the work into his Encyclopédie under the heading 'Escrime.' Because of the volume's size, copies are often found in poor and worn condition. The present copy is in a fine, unsophisticated state. According to American Book Prices Current only one (of ten) copies sold since 1975 was not defective internally, though that copy was lacking a cover. See Cohen-de-Ricci, p.83; Thimm, p.10.
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