2 FRONSPERGER, L. Military Manual / Virtual Book Fair 106


Description: Vivid illustrations of military life in the 16th century

Kriegsbuch, erster[- dritter] Theil. ... Jetzt von neuwem mit sonderm Fleiß ubersehen, und an vielen Örtern gemehrt und gebessert, auch mit schönen neuwen Figuren und Kupfferstücken geziert, sampt ordenlichen Registern.

Frankfurt am Main, heirs of Sigmund Feyerabend, 1596. 3 volumes bound as 1. Folio. Contemporary blind-tooled and panel-stamped pigskin over bevelled wooden boards, each board in a panel design made with 3 rolls and a central panel stamp, the front with portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) in rich suit of armour holding a sword in his right hand, with legend below: "Carole mortales dubitant homo sisne deusue: Sunt tua sceptra hominis sed tua facta Dei"; back board with portrait of Johann Friedrich I (1503-1559), Elector of Saxony in rich suit of armour with a sword in his right hand, and below the legend "Victus eras acie fidei constantia tandem victorem ante homines fecit et ante deum", 2 brass clasps on leather straps, red edges. Title-page of first volume printed in red and black, each of the 3 title-pages with a different large woodcut (the first signed "I[ost] A[mman]"), 22 folding engraved plates, woodcut author's portrait, 334 woodcuts (including repeats) by Jost Amman in text, colophon with Feyerabend's woodcut device. Further with several woodcut decorated initals and tailpieces. [6], CLXVII, [1 blank], [3], [1 blank]; [4], CLXIII, [3], [1 blank]; [6], CCLXVI, [4], [2 blank] ll.

Attractive copy of the third and best edition (the last until 1819) of Fronsperger's famous Kriegsbuch, one of the most important military works of the sixteenth century, beautifully illustrated with hundreds of woodcuts by Jost Amman and 22 engraved folding plates. Leonhardt Fronsperger (1520?-1575) served in the Imperial army and rose through several administrative posts in the military and the military courts. He began publishing practical military handbooks in 1555. The first edition of the present Kriegsbuch, published at Frankfurt and completed in 1573, brought together several of these smaller publications along with new material to make a complete guide to martial law, artillery, fortification and sieges, as well as military management, formations and tactics.
Title-page with two owner's entries struck through (one dated 1716), and another not struck through at the foot of the page: "Sum ex: lib: W: D: ... Talhainb[?] 1680". Some browning throughout and with an occasional marginal defect, but otherwise in very good condition and with generous margins. The binding with some small wormholes, spots and scuff marks, but also good and with the panel stamps and tooling well preserved. A classic and comprehensive military manual, with hundreds of illustrations and 2 panel-stamped portraits.
BMC STC German, p. 325; Bury & Breman (3rd vol.); Jähns, pp. 550-558; Jordan 1341; Sloos, Warfare 01003; VD 16, F 3125-3127; cf. Lipperheide 2049 (other eds.); for Fronsperger: NDB V, pp. 662-663.
  • Number: 1060237 (21845)
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum