London: Printed for J. Murray, 1784. Second revised. Hardcover. Quarto. xxii, 192pp. Contemporary three quarter calf over marbled paper-covered boards with gilt ruling, tooling and lettering on spine. Frontispiece engraving. Subscribers names. "Illustrated by mathematical figures and adorned with elegant engravings after paintings from life, executed in the most masterly manner representing every material attitude of the art" (title page). Sixteen of nineteen engravings in the text are folding. Binding rubbed with some wear along edges and spine with small abrasions on back cover. Inked entry in upper left corner of inside cover visible through remnants of removed small plate. Light offsetting of engraving to title page and some self-offsetting to the folding plates. Closed 2" tear in middle right of title page with previous owner's coat of arms glued to top of tear on title page, covering stamp with library name, not affecting text. Some age-toning and sporadic light foxing in book block. Binding and interior in overall good+ condition. g+. Item #35502
From the preface: "having from an early period made the Art of Fencing my favorite exercise and study; and having occasionally visited different Academies or Schools for Fencing; I perceived, that it was liable to may imperfections, either by the generality of masters deviating materially in their modes of giving lessons, or endeavouring to retain the niceties of the art mysteriously in their own hands,- The chief objects therefore I had in view, when I published this Treatise, were- to reduce, if possible, the whole movements of an art apparently intricate to certain fixed and natural principles;- to facilitate the study of it; -and to contribute in leading to perfection all lovers of this art, particularly such as might be situated at a distance from masters."