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Book Details

ANGELO (Domenico Malevolti Tremamondo). The School of Fencing, with a General Explanation of the Principal Attitudes and Positions Peculiar to the Art. Dedicated to their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Gloucester and Prince Henry-Frederic.1765

London: Printed for S. Hooper, Second edition, first English, oblong folio (295 x 480 mm), [6], 63, [5]pp., parallel English and French texts, with an additional French title page, 47 fine engraved plates by Ruyland and Hall after J. Gruyn, some foxing and spotting (worse to the first few text leaves and plates), also a little light offsetting, plate 16 with a closed tear just touch outer border of image, expertly rebound in half sprinkled tan calf, orig. marbled sides, red morocco label, a very nice copy. The first edition with English text of this most important and beautifully illustrated work on fencing, preceded by the French edition published in 1763 as L'ecole des armes avec l'explication générale des principales attitudes et positions concernant l'escrime. A later London edition appeared in 1787, but this was a reduced octavo rather than the more desirable folio format as here. The 47 finely engraved plates were drawn from life for which Angelo posed as principal model and "it was widely praised for its elegant style, the usefulness of its illustrations, and its original emphasis on fencing as a source of gentlemanly exercise rather than as a necessary preparation for duel... The success of his [fencing] school, together with his guide to fencing, guaranteed Angelo's place in a social circle which included men like David Garrick, Thomas Sheridan, Samuel Foote, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs, and Christian Bach. Among his friends Angelo also counted the chevalier d'Eon, who stayed for a time at Carlisle House, where he gave fencing lessons."—(Oxford DNB). Provenance: Unidentified bookplate with crest of an ass's head holding an arrow, the motto "Faire mon devoir." Cohen-de Ricci, p.83; Thimm, p.10.

Stock #38196

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