AQUINAS, Thomas.


Secunda secundae partis.

[Mainz, Peter Schöffer, 6 March 1467.]


ON VELLUM. Large 4to. 318 x 270mm, several leaves and all lower margins trimmed down to perimeter of the text block (272 x 186mm). 252 of 258 unnumbered and unsigned ll., A-D10 E9 F11 G10 H9 I-K10 L-N8 O9 P-T10 V6 X-Z10 A-C10 D4, 59 lines per page, colophon (variant without ‘thome de aquino’) on fol. 252v. Gothic letter (Haebler type: 3:91 G), double column. Opening page of text with 12-line initial P (Florence or Ferrara?) supplied in red and blue with red penwork flourishes and white-on-red infill of floral decoration, capital letters and running headings supplied in alternating red and blue, chapter numbers supplied in red on margins. Fol. 1a and verso of last a bit dusty, occasionally a trifle yellowed, small vellum flaws as usual to few outer blank margins, the odd one touching text, couple of leaves respectively with two ink splashes and two small wax stains with tiny holes touching two letters. A remarkably clean and fresh copy in early C18 Netherlandish sprinkled calf, marbled eps, flyleaves with Jean Villeray watermark, triple gilt ruled, large gilt fleurons to corners, outer edges gilt, spine divided into seven compartments, gilt star-shaped tool and gilt cornerpieces to each, gilt-lettered morocco label, gold-tooled raised bands, covers, spine and joints rubbed, lower joint cracked, upper split at head. Swedish bibliographic annotations dated 1899 to fly, C16 inscriptions ‘Secunda 2e D. Thomae, antiquissima’ and ‘Loci Annuntiatae Caesenae A.num.70’ to upper blank margin of first leaf, intermittent leaf numbers inked to outer margins.

Remarkably fresh copy of this magnificent, early and important incunabulum printed by Peter Schöffer—‘a rare and extraordinary book’ (Lowndes, ‘British Librarian’, 570) and, in this case, an unusual early witness to the cultural shift between manuscript and print. It is the second edition of this theological milestone, first printed by Johann Mentelin c.1463. Of the 71 examples of the 1467 edition recorded in GW, only 11 are on vellum and several defective. After studying in Paris and working for a few years as a manuscript copyist, Peter Schöffer (or Schoeffer, 1425-1503) entered Gutenberg’s workshop in Mainz, becoming one of his closest collaborators in the printing of the 42-line Bible. He sided with Johann Fust, lawyer and goldsmith, in a suit brought and won against Gutenberg; the two left Gutenberg bankrupt and opened their own printing workshop in Mainz. They produced masterpieces like the Psalter of 1457—the first book with printed decorated initials—and the fourth printed Bible of 1462, of which the same type appears in the present edition (Lange, ‘Peter Schöffer’, 7). It was the first work printed by Schöffer alone, after Fust’s death in 1465, and the first ever to bear a printing date. As subject, he chose ‘the most widely-read portion of the most comprehensive and systematic statement of medieval Christian doctrine’, on Christian virtues, saintliness, active and contemplative life (‘Peter Schoeffer’, 33); i.e., the second part of Thomas Aquinas’s (1225-74) ‘Summa theologica’, intended for the instruction of students of theology, and the founding text of Scholasticism.

The superb decorated initial, in red and blue penwork with flourishes, closely resembles rubricated initials produced in Florence or Ferrara in the late C15. The capital letters alternating in red and blue are a close match to those on the copy bound for George III (BL C.15.d.3, recorded in Milan before 1472) and those on the copy at Glasgow University Library (Sp Coll BD9-a.4, unknown early provenance). Schöffer sold a substantial portion of his books to distant markets. In particular, of the 23 copies of this edition examined by Dr Lotte Hellinga, 12 of which were rubricated with flourishing and limning, 11 were not decorated in Mainz (Hellinga, ‘Incunabula’, 112, 466).

The inscription above the incipit places this copy in Italy in the early C16, at the monastery of the Friars Observants at Cesena, founded in 1458 and victim to the Napoleonic secularisation c.1800. It boasted an excellent library, thanks to the generosity of many benefactors including Cardinal Bessarion, as well as a workshop with copyists and rubricators (‘Memorie’, III, 72). The several trimmed margins of this copy are fascinating early witnesses to the cultural shift from manuscript to print in the minds of Schöffer’s contemporaries. In medieval times, vellum manuscript were often deprived of wide margins for use as binding material, library and book labels or document slips (Clemens and Graham, ‘Introduction’, 113); clearly, for its early owner, this vellum copy was no different from a traditional vellum manuscript. Since the monastery of Cesena began to use ex-libris stamps in addition to ms. in the early C16 (see ‘Bibliotheca Franciscana’), it is probable this copy was there before or c.1500, and the margins trimmed then. Convents were still the major possessors of theological books at the time, and they were also more likely to need such ample supply of vellum pieces if they also employed their own copyists and probably binders (Bühler, ‘Fifteenth-Century Book’, 79-80), especially with the explosion of library holdings after the invention of printing.

Handsomely printed on vellum by one of the fathers of early printing, and one of the greatest medieval texts.

GW records only 1 US vellum copy at LC.

BMC XV, p. 24; Hain 1549*. A. Lange, Peter Schöffer von Gernsheim, der Buchdrucker und Buchhändler (Leipzig, 1864); Peter Schoeffer: Printer of Mainz, ed. E.M. White (Dallas, 2003); L. Hellinga, Incunabula in Transit (Leiden, 2018); F. da Parma, Memorie istoriche delle chiese (Parma, 1761), vol. III; R. Clemens and T. Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Ithaca, NY: 2007); C.F. Bühler, The Fifteenth-Century Book (Philadelphia, 1960); Bibliotheca Franciscana, ed. Z. Zanardi (Florence, 1999).


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WALLHAUSEN, Johann Jacobi von

L’art militaire, pour l’infanterie.

Leeuwarden, Claude Fontaine, 1630


Folio. pp. (xxiv) 152. *-2*4, A-T4. Roman letter, some Italic. Very fine engraved title-page, portrait of the author at head, two officers at sides, infantrymen below holding a battle scene between them, historiated woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut head- and tailpieces, typographical ornaments, 35 engraved plates (ten full page and 25 double-page), engraved armorial bookplate of Henry Edward Banbury on pastedown, seventeenth century autograph ‘Whicox’ at head of t-p. Light age yellowing, fractional dust soiling on margins of t-p, rare little mark or spot. A very good copy in C17th vellum gilt, engravings in fine dark impression, covers bordered with a gilt scroll, arabesque gilt at centres, spine gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons at centres, (a little rubbed) all edges marbled, boards slightly warped, a little soiled.

A very good copy of this important military work on infantry, finely illustrated by Theodore de Bry. The first edition of the important “L’Art Militaire pour L’Infanterie” was in German, published in Oppenheim (1615). A French translation was published in Frankfurt, and in Franeker in the Netherlands, the same year. These last editions are dedicated to Maurice, Prince of Orange-Nassau. The work was also translated in 1647 into Russian, the first secular book to be published in the Muscovite Tsardom. The plates depict exercises with musket and pike as well as camp layouts and the ordering of troops. Wallhausen was a proponent of new forms of warfare learnt in the wars of religion in Holland in which individuals were subordinated to rigid discipline which excluded independent initiative and yet sought to achieve far higher levels of collective flexibility and skill. The means to achieve this was through standardised drill, strictly imposed by officers on the base of instructions backed by printed texts. “The work of Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen, the most celebrated exponent of the Dutch reforms, regularly combines descriptions of ‘reformed’ small units, deployed in linear formation, with an extraordinary variety of rectangular, circular and geometrically diverse formations of infantry, intended to accommodate between 100 and 6000 soldiers. .. Although Wallhausen was appointed as professor at Johann von Nassau’s academy in Siegen in 1617, a year earlier he had dedicated his work ‘De la Milice Romaine’ to Ambrosio Spinola, commander of the Spanish army of Flanders from 1604 to 1629.” David Parrott. ‘Richelieu’s Army: War, Government and Society in France, 1624-1642’

Wallhausen’s work is also of great social interest. “Wallhausen, .. describes how soldiers and camp followers alike would descend on a farmhouse, even in supposedly friendly territory. pounce on livestock, break down doors, and pull out trunks and boxes while intimidating the inhabitants. When they has eaten all they could hold they took the horses and oxen and farmers carts and loaded them with objects they had stolen. “then ten to twelve women and as many soldiers and some six boys sit on top of the heavy packing like caterpillars in heads of cabbage” Wallhausen wrote “the vehicle is frequently so heavily overburdened that the horses or oxen cannot budge it.” For soldiers, women represented not simply sex but all the creature comforts, and the men vigorously resisted being separated from their female companions or servants. Walhausen described the situation in the German infantry: “A regiment of three thousand men usually had no less than three hundred vehicles and each wagon was filled to overflowing with women, boys children, prostitutes and plunder.”” Linda Grant De Pauw ‘Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present’

Cockle 621; USTC 4028044. Sloos. ‘Warfare and the Age of Printing’ 05011


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Liber processionum secundum ordinem fratrum predicatorum.

[Seville, Meynardum Ungut Alamannum et Stanislaum Polonum Socios, 1494].


FIRST EDITION. 4to. 113 unnumbered and unsigned ll., a7 b-n8 o10, wanting initial blank. Gothic letter, 33 lines, printed in red and black throughout, continuous printed music on 4-line red staves. Handful of initials supplied in ink in an early hand, a few white-on-red and white-on-black woodcut initials, large printer’s device to verso of last. a1 and a6 partly restored in lower margin, small repair to blank margin of 7 ll. (some using paper slips from ms. score in a C17/18 hand), 7 ll. strengthened at blank gutter, some finger soiling, occasional minor tears from outer edge, the odd marginal ink splash or light stain, k2-3 and k6-7 transposed, scattered wax on one leaf. A very good copy on thick paper in modern calf, blind-stamped to a C16-style Spanish panel design, gilt-lettered morocco labels, ‘Coleccion Alfageme-Fontanals’ stamped in blind, all edges sprinkled red, in slipcase. Music notation inked to one leaf in near contemporary hand, C15 Spanish ms. to verso of last leaf.

A remarkably fresh copy of the first edition of this handsome incunabulum—the first Spanish book with musical notation—finely printed, probably in double impression, in red and black throughout. In 1903, Haebler called this work rare and totally unknown to previous bibliographers as it was not recorded in Spain (557); in 1912, several copies were discovered in a Spanish Dominican monastery and thence dispersed (Vindel, ‘El arte’, V, 67). It remains however scarce. This famous processional is one of many liturgical works funded by the Dominicans in the early days of printing and, in the C16, for exporting to their New World missions. The Dominican liturgy was slightly different to the Roman use, and required customised music, here reproduced in plainchant. The processional features hymns for major liturgical celebrations (Purification, Palm Sunday, Last Supper, Resurrection, Ascension and Assumption), and for sundry occasion (e.g., to welcome new religious and secular authorities, for the sick, the extreme unction, the burial of Dominican friars and children, one for ‘time of war against the enemies of the faith’), and a ‘liber generationis’ (book of the genealogy of Christ). Another such processional was printed in Venice in the same year, for the Dominicans of the Lombard congregation; it was however not as lavish as its Seville counterpart, either in format or aesthetics. ‘The Seville processional inaugurates a printing custom observed in nearly all later Andalusian musical imprints: bar-lining of the words. The double-bar line in this processional indicates a shift from cantor to chorus’ (Stevenson, ‘Spanish Music’, 104-5).

This copy bears a curious, unrelated brief note to the last leaf. It records a sale of land from Anton Vasques and Elvyra de Aldana—whom we have not been able to trace—to the noble gentleman Diego de Merlo. This was probably the famous Castilian captain, counsellor and general of the King, who died in 1482. It probably concerned land surrounding the convent where this book was preserved.

Three copies recorded in the US. Apparently not at Hispanic Society of America.

“Existe en las Bibliotecas Nacional de Madrid, Nacional de Paris y Museo Británico” Palau XIV 238143. ISTC ip00997000; Goff P997; HC 13380*; BMC X 39; GW M35537. Stillwell P912; Goff P-997; Haebler, Bib. Iberica, 557; Vindel, El arte típografico, V, 67; Vindel, Manual grafíco, 2284. R. Stevenson, Spanish Music in the Age of Columbus (The Hague, 1960).


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UFANO, Diego

Artillerie, ou vraye instruction de l’artillerie et de ses appurt-enances

Rouen: Jean Berthelin, 1628


Folio. pp. (vi) 144, 6 [ii] last blank, 27 numbered engraved plates, (18 double-page) and one unnumbered. Roman letter. Title within fine engraved border , figures of War and Peace at sides, Victory above, arms below, woodcut initials, grotesque head and tail-pieces, with the additional quire “Quelques advertissemens dependans de l’artillerie”, contemporary limp vellum, engraved armorial bookplate of ‘Whyte Melville, of Bennochy and Strathkinness,’ (perhaps John Whyte Melville, 1797-1883). Light age yellowing, the very rare spot or mark. A very good, clean copy, with excellent impression of the plates, in contemporary limp vellum

A fine copy of one of the most famous books on the history of artillery, beautifully illustrated with 28 plates. Diego Ufano was a 16th-century Spanish military engineer with much experience in war in Spanish Flanders. This work was particularly influential in England; Robert Norton the English author of “The Gunner” was especially indebted. Translated by Johann Theodor de Bry (see Cockle), with plates copied in reverse by de Bry from the Spanish edition, De Bry also translated the work into German, and the plates are captioned in both languages. Ufano’s most important contribution to the subject was this work on Artillery which details in depth 16th-century guns, cannon, rockets and ammunition. His notes and observations on gunners were well ahead of their time; they paint a very accurate view of warfare and tactics at the turn of the C16th. This book detailed notes on how to clean, load, aim, and fire muzzle-loading firearms to the beat of a drummer’s drumroll. It also describes how to move cannons up a mountain, the manufacture of cannon, and references the use of cannon in the Philippines, China, and Tartary.

“Diego Ufano, a Spanish captain of artillery who was in Antwerp early in the seventeenth century, describes the Spanish artillery used in the Low Countries. He also describes and figures an explosive bullet. It is a hollow ball filled with gunpowder, having a hole into which is inserted a tubular fuse, which is perforated; it is not said whether it is of wood or metal. The bomb or shell was not previously used in the war in the Low Countries but had been tried.  Ufano also describes pots with narrow necks, filled with inceniary and bullets, which were thrown by cords and were (apparently ) fitted with wicks to ignite the contents. He describes a grenade containing the bomb in a spherical case with a cord, an incendiary arrow thrown from a crossbow, and a ‘trombe a feu’ (called a ‘bombe’ in the French transaltion) consisting of a cylinder into which the composition is pressed by a wooden stick. .. He also describes rockets (fusées volantes) in great detail, and a petard for blowing open an armoured door.”   J. R. Partington. ‘A History of Greek Fire and Gunpowder.’

In his work Ufano describes a method used for salvaging guns from under water, which had to be recovered after being lost when armies crossed rivers. The illustration shows one of the earliest depictions of a diver, using a large hood made of cow’s hide. A respiration tube was connected to his helmet and was kept above his head by a pig’s bladder, allowing the diver to work a few meters under water.

Cockle 684. Palau 342947. USTC 6814649 (listing 3 copies).


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La Pyrotechnie… ou sont representes les plus rares & plus appreuvez secrets des machines & des feux artificiels.

Pont-à-Mousson, Jean & Gaspard Bernard, 1630. 


FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. (viii) 264. A4, A-Kk4. Roman letter, some Italic. Finely engraved architectural title, columns of cannons at sides, crossed cannons below, exploding device at centre, authors arms at head, woodcut initials and headpieces, typographical ornaments, very  numerous engravings in the text, some full page, early mss shelf mark on fly, armorial bookplate of Thomas Francis Fremantle, (Baron Cottesloe) on pastedown. Light age yellowing, rare spot or mark, tiny worm trail in endpapers just touching t-p, and lower blank margin of next few leaves. A very good copy in contemporary English reverse calf, with very good impressions of the plates, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, ruled in blind, gilt paper label lettered in black, all edges sprinkled red.

Beautifully illustrated first edition of Appier’s book on pyrotechnics, though closely based with regard to both text and illustrations on his 1620 work on military machines and fireworks. “Dedicating the book, it is believed, to Gaston, duc d’Orleans, the younger brother of Louis XIII, Hanzelet sought to instruct the royal prince in ‘the most ingenious, proven secrets of machines and fireworks for besieging, attacking, surprising and defending all places.’ The running head of this military manual reads. ‘Machines and Fireworks for War and Recreation,’ but only 30 of its 264 pages would be of an help to ‘le Maitre du grand feu d’artifice’ preparing a spectacular pyrotechnical display for royal fete. Written midway through the Thirty Years War (1618 -48) Hanzelet’s work is principally concerned with artillery, fortifications, bridges, barricades, pontoons, scaling ladders, mines, mortars, bombs, petards, and other infernal machines used to attack, besige and defend. It is profusely illustrated, almost every page carrying a well-executed engraving. Many appear fanciful rather than practical, but the only one showing how black powder was made is the last one in the volume.” Norman B. Wilkinson. ‘Making Powder, by Jean Appier Hanzelet.’

“Appier had previously published Recueil de Plusiers Machines Militaires, et feux Artificials, pour la Guerre s Recreation (Pont-a-Mousson, 1620), in collaboration with Francois Thybourel, a self-styled “Maistre Chyrurgien.” It is to that volume that Francis Malthus referred in the preface to his 1629 English edition of A Treatise of Artificial Fire-vrorkes. Following a bitter dispute with Thybourel concerning the order of names on the title-page of ‘A description of many military machines, and artificial fireworks for war and recreation’ [the first edition was printed with two variant title-pages], Appier made certain that there would be no doubts about the authorship of The Pyrotechnics of Hanzelet Lorraine where are described the most rare and most learned secrets of machines and of fireworks when it was issued one decade later.Most of the text is cast in the form of a dialogue between a General and a Captain, with the reader benefiting from the Captain’s sage advice; a literary device later used by Galileo in his Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo (Florence, 1632). Even though Appier introduced much new material on rockets, stars and other fireworks, such as squibs and crackers, in The Pyrotechnics, he also reused many of the engravings as well as some text from his earlier volume on military machines and fireworks.” Brown University Library.

BM STC Fr. C17th p. 15 no. 607. Cockle 938. USTC 6805289. Brunet I 358.


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Pyrotechnia or, A discourse of artificiall fire-works: in which the true grounds of that art are plainly and perspicuously laid downe: … a short treatise of geometrie,

London, Thomas Harper for Ralph Mab, 1635.


FIRST EDITION, Folio. pp. [xiv], 72; [iv], 80, 200. 2 folded plates. pi1, [fleuron], A-F, chi², A-F, G, (a)-(c), (D)-(E), (f), (G), (h), (I), K-L, M, N-R. Roman letter, some Italic Fine engraved additional title by Droeshout, with portrait in roundel below, illustrations of his pyrotechnic devices at sides, letterpress title within double rule with small grotesque woodcut, 18 full-page engraved illustrations, 2 folding engraved plates, woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text, tables, woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments. Light waterstain in very upper blank margin in places, very rare thumb mark, rare mark or spot, small closed tear in blank gutter of [fleuron]6. A fine copy, entirely unsophisticated, with excellent impressions of the plates, crisp and clean, in handsome contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands, blind ruled, edges gilt ruled, stubbs from a mss legal doc., tear in lower compartment with small loss of leather, a.e.r.,

A fine copy of the first edition of the most important book in the bibliography of fireworks, beautifully illustrated with many fine engravings, by the soldier and mathematician John Babington (bap. 1604, d. after 1635).

This work, which records all we know of the author’s life, states that he had been “one of the inferiour gunners of his Majestie”, and in the days of peace he had turned his attention from gunnery to fireworks, which were important both for military use and as popular civic entertainment. The major portion of his book sets out, clearly and with illustrations, how to make up the chemicals and structures for each type of firework display (including many still familiar to us today, such as rockets and Catherine wheels). The second part, A Short Treatise on Geometrie, was intended for the use of young mathematical practitioners and especially for gunners. A third section consists of logarithmic tables, possibly the earliest to be published in England in this form (cf ODNB).

The book, the first description of recreational fireworks in English, is dedicated by ‘John Babington, Gunner’ to his employer the Earl of Newport, Master of King Charles I’s Ordnance. “Pyrotechnia, .. was the first English book about how to make recreational fireworks. It was printed in 1635, seven years before the Civil War. Gunpowder had long been used on the battlefield but, in England, it was only during Elizabeth I’s reign that this technology developed into something that would create fantastic aerial displays. Elizabeth I was famous for her love of fireworks; sumptuous displays were held in her honour and to celebrate military victories. Pyrotechnia told firework-makers all they needed to know about the chemical compounds and complex structural designs required for firework displays. Babington’s instructions are clear, easy to understand and are accompanied by labelled engravings, while the last two sections of the book are helpfully reserved for a treatise on geometry and logarithms respectively. Babington starts simply, with fireworks that are familiar to us today. His is the first printed reference to a roman candle, and there are descriptions of how to make rockets and ‘the best sort of starres’. For stars of a blue colour a combination of gunpowder, saltpetre and sulphur-vive did the trick. He then progresses to making “silver and gold raine”, firework wheels and “fisgigs”, a French firework that fizzed before it exploded. This was all small fry though. Once a firework-maker had mastered the basics, he could recreate the type of spectacle enjoyed by Elizabeth Ist. One sight in particular was especially popular during this period: the dragon. It consisted of a huge wooden frame stuffed with spinners, fountains, firecrackers and rockets that ignited to give the effect of a huge fire-breathing creature. Often, a second dragon or St George would be pitched against it and a mock battle would take place. In Pyrotechnia, Babington instructs the reader to strap the dragon and St George together so that, when a wheel is turned, “[they] will runne furiously at each other”. They had to be well balanced as otherwise “they [would] turn their heeles upward, which would bee a great disgrace to the work and workman”. Babington also acknowledges that “much [has been] written upon this same subject”, confirming the dragon’s popularity. A large proportion of Pyrotechnia is also dedicated to creating fiery spectacles on water, a great skill indeed for any firework-maker. Babington reveals “many workes to be performed on the water”, from “how to make a water ball, which shall burn on the water, with great violence” to a “ship of fire workes” and sirens or mermaids “playing on the water”.” Maddy Smith, British Library.

Cockle 131. ESTC S106893. STC 1099.


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NORTON, Robert

The gunner shevving the vvhole practise of artillerie:

London, Printed by A[ugustine] M[athewes] for Humphrey Robinson, 1628.


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. [xvi], 100, 99-158, [iv]. first and last leaf blank, 27 leaves of plates (complete). A, B-Y. Roman letter, floriated initials, woodcut initials and headpieces, woodcut ornaments and printed diagrams, title within architectural border of upright cannons (McKerrow and Ferguson 291) just trimmed at fore-edge, plates, undivided, as issued, 8, 9, 11 and 14 trimmed to page with some loss, bookplate of Thomas Fremantle (Baron Cottesloe) on pastedown, label of the ‘Westdean Library’ above. Light age yellowing, minor dust soiling to end-leaves and in a few margins, the odd thumb mark. A very nice copy, crisp and clean, unsophisticated in slightly later English calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule, spine with raised bands gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons (rubbed), red morocco label gilt lettered, joints repaired at head.

First edition of Robert Norton’s important work, remarkably complete with all plates. Norton undertook to provide the English reader and especially gunner “who wants respect and encouragement” with the best continental writings on gunnery, artillery and all sorts of fireworks “for pleasure, triumph and war service”; largely adapted from Uffano’s “Tratado de la artileria”, reusing the splendid de Bry plates produced for that work. The text opens with definitions of terms, such as ‘swiftnesse’, ‘to mount’ and ‘to expell’. Next are the physical requirements of the gun, e.g. “That the superficies of the Columne of the Peece bee perfectly round,” followed by maxims:e.g. “The lighter are more moveable than the heavier.” The section concludes with 67 theorems of general and gun-related science: e.g. “A peece reverseth when it dischargeth”. “The sinewes of the art of artillerie,” including mathematics and its practical applications in calculating numbers of troops, optimal formations and measuring towers etc are discussed, accompanied by numerous woodcut diagrams.

The main section of the text then addresses the practise of artillery, beginning with a definition. Topics covered are the inventors of guns and gunpowder, the distribution and use of early forms of weaponry in Europe, with their weights and measures included in tabular form, the materials required for the fabrication of various kinds of gun and cannons and potential problems, the construction of moulds for cannons and other weapons with diagrams illustrating the firing power of various guns, techniques and calculations to assure the gunner of a good shot, defend a besieged fortress, make counter-batteries, to tell if powder is suitable to fire, plant mines, transport equipment, and to make ‘ordinary and extraordinary matches’. The work concludes with a chapter on ‘artificiall fireworkes for tryumph and service,’ followed by engraved plates featuring armies, cannons, firing trajectories, calibre gauges, sailors coming to land, elaborate fireworks, and cavalry.

Robert Norton (d.1635) studied engineering and gunnery under John Reynolds, England’s master gunner, later becoming a royal gunner. He published several works on mathematics and artillery, of which this was the last. His works were notable for their scientific explanation of gunnery and that of the mathematical principles on which it relied.

An excellent copy, very rare complete with all the plates. Estc. calls for 27 plates; these plates were often split up and placed in half sheets in the text. This copy has the 27 numbered plates as issued, none have been split.

ESTC S115254. [Calls for 27 plates.] STC 18673 (both BL copies incomplete). Cockle 114. Riling 100. Spaulding & Karpinski 116.


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BARRET, Robert

The Theorike and practike of moderne warres.

London: William Ponsonby, 1598


FIRST EDITION. Folio, pp. [8], 247, [7]. [par.], A-N, O1, P-Y. (quire O a half sheet, folding woodcut illustration, small closed tear). Roman letter, some Italic, Full page woodcut arms of the Earl of Pembroke on verso of title, Barret’s arms on verso of last, numerous woodcut illustration in text, woodcut tables, curious pinpricked military flags or pennants on last leaf ‘The annals of Cornelius Tacitus’ ms above in an Early hand, bookplate of Thomas Francis Fremantle (Baron Cottesloe) on pastedown, early autograph of “John Longe”, repeated, on rear pastedown (on turn ins). Very light age yellowing, occasional marginal mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean in handsome contemporary calf, covers bordered with a single gilt and double blind rule, large scroll-worked arabesque gilt at centres, rebacked to match, spine with raised bands, corner restored to upper cover, lower corners worn, end-papers renewed using old paper.

Rare first edition of the only published work by the soldier Barret (died 1607), which “exemplifies England’s belated transition from knightly to professional principles of warfare. Detailing a wide range of military technique, it prescribes the ‘severall duties’ expected of ‘the Officers in degrees’ within the new hierarchy of military rank, and provides—in the influential manner of Leonard and Thomas Digges’s Stratioticos (1579)—a practical grounding in the mathematical logistics of early modern war” (ODNB). William Shakespeare, according to Chalmers, caricatured Barret as Parolles in All’s well that ends well. But the statement is purely conjectural. Parolles is spoken of as “the gallant militarist—that was his own phrase—that had the whole theoric of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the chape of his dagger”—words which may possibly allude to the title of Barret’s military manual, but are in themselves hardly sufficient to establish a more definite connection between him and Parolles. Another connection to Shakespeare may be found in the dedicatory poem; “On page viii, facing page 1, .. are printed a sort of laudatory preface – which may even have been written by Shakespeare – a suggestion not altogether implausible. The word ‘teene’, (occurring in this poem) meaning ‘annoyance of ‘vexation is used by him (Shakespeare) at least four times.” J. H. Leslie ‘Ancient Military Words.’

“Robert Barret, who had served as a soldier in the French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish armies observed that – ‘men of sundrie humours, sundrie qualities, and sundrie professions such as ―Politicians, Geometricians, and Mathematicians, which neuer saw any warres  claimed their commitment to developing contemporary soldiership.’ Despite such   competition between theorists and experienced soldiers in early modern writing about soldiership, there were attempts to bring the two different disciplines together. As both a soldier and a military theorist, Barret asserted that only those who understood the ―Methode & meaning of theory and had – experience & practice of war could be ―perfect souldier[s].’ This idea was further fostered by leading members of the aristocracy who were committed to an ideal of virtue in their pursuit of classical learning and practical information.” Dong Ha Seo. ‘Military Culture of Shakespeare’s England.’

A handsome copy of this rare and important work.

ESTC S106853. STC 1500. Cockle 68.


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Aphorismes civill and militarie: amplified with authorities, and exemplified with historie.

London: Edward Blount, 1613


FIRST EDITION, 2 parts in one volume, folio pp. [viii], 339, [i], 61, [iii]. A-2T, 2V,2X-3E. First and last blanks present. “First word of title is xylographic. ‘A briefe inference vpon Guicciardines digression, in the fourth part of the first quarterne of his historie’ has separate title page and pagination; register is continuous.’ ESTC. Roman and Italic letter, some Greek. Text in box rule. Woodcut printer’s device on both titles, fine engraved portrait of the dedicatee Prince Charles on verso of first, floriated woodcut initials, typographical ornaments. Very minor light waterstain on lower blank margins of a few leaves. A fine copy, absolutely crisp and clean, with good margins in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, spine with raised bands, ruled in blind, tan morocco label gilt, edges with gilt pointillé rule, a.e.r., a little scratching to upper cover.

A fine copy of the first edition of this important and influential book of Aphorisms adapted from Guicciardini. The author had been introduced to Prince Henry in 1605, serving him for four years without reward; in 1609 Dallington presented Henry with a manuscript translation “Aphorismes civill and militarie”, selected from the Italian historian Francesco Guicciardini. As a result of this gift Dallington was fee’d as a gentleman-in-ordinary of the prince’s chamber, joining the distinguished group of scholars who attended James I’s high-minded heir. After the prince’s death in 1612 Dallington reworked his Aphorismes for publication, published here with a new dedication to Prince Charles. “Improbably the ruse worked a second time, and Dallington became one of the few members of Prince Henry’s household to be retained by the new heir. It has even been suggested that Charles may have derived his unfortunate persuasion that duplicity was a princely virtue from reading Dallington’s Guicciardini.” (see ODNB).

“In 1613 Robert Dallington dedicates his Aphorismes Civill and Militarie to Prince Charles. The overt purpose of his work is to offer this future ruler lessons in political prudence. Dallington condenses educational episodes from the first five books of Guicciardini’s Storia d’Italia, introducing each with a moral of his own and sententiae from various sources. On the surface, the Aphorismes is a typical approach to methodising the art of prudence. Dallington is only one of many early modern authors to compile a collection of political wisdom based on the works of the famously prudent Guicciardini, but the Aphorismes stands out from similar works because of how the author approaches the challenge of cultivating the reader’s prudence. Like other collectors, Dallington does methodize, order, and condense. However, Dallington’s method does not simply arrange static precepts for easy consumption. Rather, Dallington employs a method of prudent indirection to immerse precepts in dynamic and complicating contexts that enable readers to develop skills of discretion and flexibility. Dallington not only adopts an essentially Ramist method to Baconian and Guicciardinian ideals of induction, but he also takes an Odyssean route to prudence, incorporating romance conventions of voyage and digression that transform his manual of prudence into something more adventurous and more effective than the typical aphorism collection.” Patricia Davis Patrick ‘Judgement in Early Modern England.’

ESTC S109203; STC 6197. Pforzheimer. Grolier.


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BOOK OF HOURS. Use of Paris, French and Latin.

[northern France (doubtless Paris), c. 1440-50]


Miniature illuminated manuscript on vellum. 105 x 70mm 226 leaves (plus later paper endleaves), bound tightly and uncollatable, wanting 5 leaves (with illuminations). Single column, 15 lines of lettre bâtarde (some Calendar entries also in blue and liquid gold), capitals touched in pale yellow, rubrics (some in elaborate calligraphic strokes), small initials in liquid gold on blue and burgundy grounds, larger 2-line initials in blue or pink enclosing coloured foliage on gold grounds, line-fillers in same, numerous pages with decorated panels of border foliage in single-line terminating in gold flowers and fruit entwined with more realistic foliage with blue and red flowers, some tendrils loosely locked together with gold ‘O’-like bands, twelve three-quarter miniatures, within thin gold frames, similar gold frame around the text with full decorated borders of foliage as before, coloured acanthus leaf sprays at corners, one leaf with a forgotten section of text added in the lower margin, seventeen pages with blank spaces filled with coats-of-arms of later owners (see below). Vertical margin cut from fol. 223, some chipping to miniatures in places, thumbing and smudging to some edges affecting decorated borders in places, overall in good condition.; French eighteenth calf over pasteboards, gilt tooled spine with foliage and “Heures en Latin / Mss sur velin”, marbled endleaves, some bumps and chips to edges, but overall good and solid.


  1. Written and illuminated in Paris for, most probably, a local patron (note St. Genevieve, the patron of the city, in the Calendar, in gold on 3 January). Contemporary or near-contemporary inscriptions in French added to the foot of two leaves (now erased, but easily visible under UV light) perhaps added by this patron, as well as the numerous pilgrim badges once stitched to a blank page and lower margins of other leaves at the end of the volume (note prick marks and circular discolouration there).
  2. In ownership of family whose various but repeated coats-of-arms were added to originally blank space on no less than seventeen occasions. Some of these arms are in trick or were left incomplete, but those that are finished show them all to be arms of various branches of a single family.


The text includes (i) a Calendar; (ii) Gospel Readings; (iii) the Obsecro te (here named the “oratio valde devota”); (iv) the O intemerata (here “Orisonde notre dame”); (v) Passion Reading from John; (vi) prayers to the Virgin, wanting first leaf, and ending with the Ave marie gratia plena; (vii) the Hours of the Virgin, with Matins, Lauds (wanting first leaf), Prime (wanting first leaf), Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers and Compline; (viii) the Seven Penitential Psalms, ending in a Litany; (ix) the Hours of the Cross; (x) the Office of the Dead; (xi) Suffrages to the saints; followed by (xii) nine leaves of contemporary added prayers.


The figures with their oval faces, drooping noses and eyes formed by black dots hanging down from single-stroke eyelids, as well as the sumptuous interiors, identify the artist as a follower of the Maître de Coëtivy, who flourished in Paris from 1450 (see F. Avril & N. Reynaud, Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France, 1140-1520, BnF, Paris, 1993, pp. 58-69).

The miniatures here are: (i) John writing a scroll in a rocky landscape; (ii) the Pieta, the Virgin and Child flanked by angels; (iii) the Annunciation to the Virgin; (iv) the Visitation of the Three Magi; (v) the Presentation in the Temple; (vi) the Flight into Egypt; (vii) the Crucifixion; (viii) a funeral scene with clergy singing from open books before a coffin; (ix) St. John the Baptist; (x) St. Sebastian; (xi) a male saint with a palm of martyrdom.


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