J. de Saint-Martin. L'Art de faire des armes réduit à ses vrais principes. Vienna: Janne Schramble, 1804.

    First edition. Octavo. [8], xii, [2], 91, [1], [2, sectional title; L'Espadon], iv, 57, [1] pages. Complete with copper engraved frontispiece of the author and all seventy-two plates (including two folding) depicting the stances of fencing.

    Late-nineteenth-century full olive morocco, front cover with quadruple filet borders enclosing corner pieces of gilt sword hilts, central device of a two gilt swords resting upon a pillow made up of two-tone morocco inlays, gilt fillet board edges, and decorative gilt turn-ins. Black and gold patterned endpapers. Evidence of removed bookplate at front; owner initials on verso of frontispiece. Some darkening to page 67 of second part. Overall, a very clean and well-margined copy in a handsome binding.

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    Jean-Antoine de Saint-Martin was master of arms at the Academy Thérésienne in Vienna and this book, one of the foremost fencing manuals, is a highly-regarded compendium of earlier French and Italian techniques. The second section deals with fighting with a two-handed sword or broadsword (L'Espadon).

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    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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