22 TENSINI, Francesco. La fortificatione 106


Description: Revolutionary ideas on fortification, with 48 splendid plates

TENSINI, Francesco.
La fortificatione guardia difesa et espugnatione delle fortezzi esperimentata in diverse guerre.
Venetia, Antonio Bariletti, 1630. Large folio (38 x 27.5 cm). With richly engraved allegorical frontispiece, engraved portrait of the author, and 48 fine engraved fortification plates (11 double-page), by Fillippo Sadeler. Contemporary calf, gold-tooled fillets on boards, richly gold-tooled spine, Rebacked, with the original backstrip laid down, later endpapers.
€ 4,500
Beautifully and extensively illustrated early work on the art and science of fortification, first published in 1624 and here in the 1630 issue of the 1624 edition. As the title indicates, it discusses the fortification, defence and conquest of fortresses used in various wars.
Francesco Tensini (1581-1632 or later) had been a military engineer and officer in the service of the Duke of Bavaria, of the Spanish under Spinola against the Dutch before the Twelve Years' Truce of 1609, and of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. When he wrote the present work in 1624 he was in the government of the city of Venice. Jähns suggests Tensini's theories on fortification resemble those of his countryman Alessandro di Grotti, who had worked with him in the Bavarian army, suggesting they may have developed some of their innovative ideas together. But Van den Heuvel points out influences from Dutch fortification. The Dutch introduced many new ideas in fortification during their war of independence from Spain, and Tensini experienced them as an opponent in at least the years 1600 to 1605.
With the top 3 mm of the engraved title-page shaved, but otherwise in very good condition and with generous margins, with only an occasional marginal water stain. The binding has been rebacked, as noted, and shows some damage and some restorations, but remains good. A classic practical treatise on fortification, with 48 splendid plates.
D'Ayala, Bibl. militare Italiana (1854), p. 123; ICCU (8 copies); Jähns, p. 1098; Jordan 3743.
  • Number: 1011789
  • Dealer: Speculum Orbis Nauticum

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