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Remarkable illustrated manuscript with instructions for tactical formations for grenadiers

[BACKER, Jan] and Albrecht Nicolaas van AERSSEN BEIJEREN.
Exercitien voor een compagnie grenadiers bestaande in het manuaal & d'evolutien ...
[The Netherlands], 1738. Folio. With 25 ink drawings depicting tactical formation exercises for infantry. Contemporary gold- and blind-tooled mottled calf, a red morocco title-label lettered in gold, gold-tooled board edges, marbled edges. [1], [1 blank], 49, [9 blank] pp.
€ 2,950
Unusual military manuscript with exercises for grenadiers, written by a captain. The easily legible work describes and depicts various tactical formations, with clear instructions on how the company or platoon could move into them. The explanations are written on the left and the drawings are drawn on the right, making the manuscript easy to use. Discussed are formations in rows, square formations, formations in the shape of the commander's initials, and a formation a company could use to pass a barrier. The manuscript also explains the proper ways to hold and use grenades and rifles while in these formations. The work has never been published, which means this is the only known copy of it.
The manuscript was written by Albrecht Nicolaas van Aerssen Beijeren, lord of Voshol, Meteren, Hoogerheyden, Geldermalsen and Triangel (1723-1805), when he was 15 years old. He went on to have a flourishing military career and became a lieutenant-general and commander of Deventer in 1790. However, according to the title-page of the manuscript, the work was composed in 1688 by Jan Backer, captain of a company of grenadiers. Unfortunately, nothing else is known about him, but considering his titles, he must have been an experienced grenadier.
The binding shows traces of use: the edges and corners of the boards are scuffed, and the leather on the front and back boards is somewhat scratched and cracked, the joints are slightly weakened, but without affecting the structural integrity of the binding. Very minor foxing throughout. Otherwise in good condition.
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Military history  >  Military History 18th Century