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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

De Lo Schermo Overo Scienza D'Arme.

FABRIS (Salvator).

FABRIS (Salvator).

De Lo Schermo Overo Scienza D'Arme.

Engraved title-page, with engraved coat-of-arms on verso, and 191 copperplate illustrations in the text after Jan van Haelbeck and Francesco Valeggio.

First Edition. Folio. [348 x 235 x 21 mm]. [1]f, 149, [1], 153-256, [2] pp. Bound c.1800 in marbled paper covered boards, vellum spine (later endleaves, spine repaired and edges of the boards a little worn).
Copenhagen: Henrico Waltkirch, [25th September], 1606

Thimm p.97. Pardoel 172.

Lacking the engraved portraits of Christian IV (following the title) and the author (O2 recto). Two small holes at the foot of the title, marginal tears repaired C3, P4, Y2 and final index leaf, small stains pp.111, 165 and 207, some browning, especially to the first five leaves, minor dampstain in inner margin towards the end, and index leaf a little soiled. Bookplate of Robert Martin, American stuntman and collector of weapons.
Accompanying this volume is a 353ff typescript of an English translation by A. F. Johnson, in quarto, recently bound in brown cloth with a black label.

The first engraving (on p.27) is unnumbered, and is followed by a sequence numbered 1-179, then a second sequence numbered 2-12. This is the first Danish book to be illustrated with copperplate engravings and is one of the most celebrated examples of baroque printing.

Salvator Fabris (1544-1618) was an Italian fencing master from Padua. He was in the service of Johan Frederik of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, Archbishop of Bremen in the 1590s and Christian IV of Denmark from 1601 to 1606. There is also a story that he was summoned to England to help Shakespeare choreograph the sword actions in Hamlet. Lo Schermo, overo Scienza d'Arme was translated into German in 1615, and published in various editions until 1713. It was highly regarded by fencing masters throughout Europe (Fabris being regarded as "a man of the greatest name in our profession") and the work was quoted and plagiarized (notably by Nicoletto Giganti).

Stock no. ebc5125

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Price: £4000

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