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Famous military manual in magnificent contemporary colouring.
From the library of the last Margrave of Bergen op Zoom,
grandson of Leopold Philippe, Duke of Arenberg

GHEYN, Jacob II de.
Waffenhandlung von den Rören. Musquetten. undt Spiessen. Gestalt nach der ordnung dess Hochgebornen Fursten und Herrn herrn Moritzen Printzen zu Oranien, Graffen zu Nassaw.
The Hague, [Hillebrant Jacobsz. van Wouw, 1607-1608]. 3 parts in 1 volume. Small 1mo (37.5 x 28 cm). With engraved title-page and 117 full-page engraved plates (ca. 26 x 19 cm). All plates and the engraved title-page magnificently coloured and lavishly highlighted with silver and gold by a contemporary hand. 18th-century mottled calf, gold-tooled with the arms of the Count Palatine of Sulzbach and his wife on each board and richly gold-tooled spine.
€ 250,000
Magnificent copy of one of the rare 1608 editions, with the German title, English dedication and note to the reader and text in English, French, German and Dutch. Known in English as The exercise of arms, it was written and illustrated by Jacques de Gheyn and quickly became a famous pictorial army manual for use of officers to teach the young recruits how to handle their weapons: the arquebus (part 1), musket (part 2) and pike (part 3).
It gives an excellent picture of the successful army of the Dutch Republic after its reform by Prince Maurits, who (re)introduced exercises and discipline. It also immortalizes Prince Maurits as a military thinker and commander of the most disciplined army of his age.
The book met immediate success and makes a considerable contribution to our knowledge of military history. Fully coloured copies like the present were produced largely for princes and other important persons and were probably coloured by De Gheyn himself who was certainly responsible for the high standard of the colouring.
In the 18th century our copy was owned by and bound for Charles Philippe Theodore Count Palatine de Sulzbach (1724-1799), Duke of Bavaria, Jülich, Kleve and Berg, Prince of Mörs, Count of Veldentz, Lord of Ravenstein and last Margrave of Bergen op Zoom (1733-1794), with his and his wife's coat of arms on each board.
The slips on the title-page have browned slightly and there is occasional minor soiling, mostly in the lower right margin, but the book is in very good condition. A magnificently coloured copy of a work of major importance in military history.
Meij, Jacques de Gheyn II als tekenaar, p. 12, nos. 15-20 (pp. 45-47); New Hollstein, The De Geyn Family II, 340-457.
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