Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst (Clear Instruction in the Excellent Art of Wrestling)

Amsterdam: W. van Lamsvelt [J.J. van Waesberge], (1674). First (Dutch) Edition. Hardcover. Quarto (9 x 7-1/4 in.). [8], 16pp. Collation (text): [asterisk]4, A-B4; 71 numbered full-page engraved plates. Woodcut printer's device at title. Contemporary vellum (darkened), manuscript title at spine. Text leaves only with some light marginal embrowing and smudges, along with light tidemark and some darker staining at top gutter/margin. Interleaved throughout with blanks, the first six with later paper, all other interleaving blanks contemporary or near-contemporary to the time of printing; many illustrations traced with colored pencils onto the blanks, with evidence on versos, some plates lightly hand tinted, these early marks all neatly and capably done. Cancel with pasted slip neatly covering the original imprint of J.J. van Waesberge. A good or better copy.

Dutch edition of this masterfully illustrated self-defense manual for gentlemen, one of the most influential works on martial arts published in early modern Europe. Offered to J. J. van Waesberg in for publication in 1674 by the widow of a well-known wrestling champion in Amsterdam, it first appeared with text in German. Beginning his career as a wine merchant, Nicolaes Petter mastered a style of hand-to-hand fighting known as luctorius. In his day, he was unbeatable, he shared his knowledge of this more cultivated form of wrestling with the Dutch gentry.

Arranged in thirteen sections, the 71 full-page engraved plates convey the fury, surprise, and pain as gentlemen defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat against brigands and ruffians, or defend their honor against a peer. The plates include printed letters (A, B, C) which refer back to aspects of the moves described in the preliminary text. Section XI deals largely with techniques for disabling an opponent armed with a knife (or knives). Originally published in 1674 by van Waesberge in German as Der künstliche Ringer; an undated French version appeared at Leiden in the early eighteenth century.

Annotations: Five of the interleaves contain old manuscript annotations which in part reproduce some of the text pertaining to the facing plate. An old hand has numbered the plates at the blank top outer margin. Good+. Item #53372

References: Landwehr (de Hooghe) 39; STCN 844223085; VD1723:318270H (German language edition).

Price: $7,500.00

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