LIANCOUR, André Wernesson de (d.1732). Le Maistre d'Armes, ou l'exercise de l'Espée seulle dans sa perfection. Paris: for the author, .
Oblong 4° (185 x 243mm). Letterpress title, engraved title, portrait of the author by Langlois after Monet dated 1686, 14 copperplates by A. Perrelle after Liancour, engraved headpiece and initial opening dedication to Duc de Bourgogne, woodcut factotum initials, head- and tailpieces. (Occasional light staining, light browing in upper margins.) 18th-century French red morocco, gilt French royal arms [Olivier 2494 fer 9] on sides with fleur-de-lis at corners and in spine compartments, marbled endleaves (spine tail slightly chipped). Provenance: Le Camus DuMenil (inscription on flyleaf dated Sedan 1748, and sketch of a duel "fait au 1760"); V. de Gobbis (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without the privilege statement on the title, of "le plus beau et le plus important" work on ancient fencing (Gelli), which became a source book for many later works on the art. Liancour, a fencing master under Louis XIV, was among the first to describe grasping the sword with both hands, an innovation in French fencing of the day. Thimm, p.165; Gelli 393; Vigeant 83.