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Thread: For Sale: original 17th-c. William Hope fencing manual

  1. #1

    For Sale: original 17th-c. William Hope fencing manual

    Folks,

    I'm offering for sale an original seventeenth-century copy of one of William Hope's fencing manuals, either The Scots Fencing Master or The Compleat Fencing-Master. Unfortunately, it's missing its title page, which is the only way to distinguish the two books; the sheets for both are identical. I've included some representative photos below; copies of the texts of both versions' title pages; and the description provided by the antiquarian bookseller from whom I got it.

    I'm asking $2,000 shipped in the U.S.A.; foreign buyers will have to discuss shipping. I accept PayPal (for Goods and Services, please add 3% to cover the fee) or check or money order. Sorry, no trades. Please send me a PM if you're interested.

    Best,

    Mark Millman


    Hope, Sir William (1660-1724)

    The Scots Fencing-Master Or Compleat Small-Sword-Man; In which you have First, The Defensive Part, where you are taught all the Parades belonging to the Small Sword. Secondly, The Offensive Part, in which you are taught all the Lessons, which no Man that intends to be Master of this Art should be ignorant of, because the whole Art of Fencing dependeth on them; Also they are those Lessons which are most commonly taught in the Fencing--Schools. Thirdly, You have after the Explanation of each particular Lesson, the Parades and Contraries most proper to be made use of against the preceeding Lesson. Fourthly, You have the way of keeping all Guards belonging to the Small Sword, with the best Methods of Defending and Pursuing each of them. And last of all, You have some General Rules to be observed in playing against either Artists, or Ignorants, with Blunts or Sharps, together with the way of playing with the Small Sword against the Broad, all very necessar to be understood by gentleman, or others, who intend to perfect themselves in the Art of the Small Sword. You also have Figures representing some of the Chiefest Postures which ‘tis like some Persons would not so easily understand without the help of the Figures, which are as exact as necessar.
    Edinburgh: John Reid, 1687

    The Compleat FENCING-MASTER: In which is fully described the whole Guards, Parades & Lessons, Belonging to the SMALL-SWORD; As, also The best RULES for playing against either Artists or Ignorants, with Blunts or Sharps. Together With Directions how to Behave in a Single Combat on Horse-back; Illustrated with Figures representing the most necessary Postures.
    London: Dorman Newman, 1691


    Octavo, 153 X 101 mm. First or second edition. A8, *4, B-M8, N4. (Lacking title, i.e., the first two leaves, Al & A2)
    This copy has six of the twelve folding engraved plates of fencers (1, 2, 7, 8, 10, and 12; plates 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 11 are missing) bound in the text. Without the title page it is impossible to determine whether this is the first edition (The Scots Fencing-Master, Edinburgh: John Reid, 1687), or the second edition (The Compleat Fencing-Master, London: Dorman Newman, 1691), as the same sheets were used with both title pages. It is thus also impossible to tell whether this copy is from the Edinburgh or the London publisher. It is one of the two. This copy is in very good condition internally. It has its original scabbard calf covered boards, ruled and tooled in blind. It has been very nicely rebacked recently (comparatively speaking; the rebacking was before 1995).

    "The most important treatises extant in the English language on the swordsmanship of that period are the various works of Sir William Hope . . . Nearly every one of his books was published both in Edinburgh and London, a fact somewhat confusing to the bibliographer. There can be no doubt, however, that his first production was the Scot’s Fencing Master, which he published in Edinburgh in his twenty-seventh year (1687).” Egerton Castle

    Wing H-2714?; Aldis, H.G. Scotland 2690; Arber's Term cat. II 350.
    Attached Images Attached Images       

  2. #2
    Bump.

  3. #3
    Bump.

  4. #4
    Folks,

    Reduced to $1,750 shipped.

    Mark Millman

  5. #5
    Folks,

    Reduced to $1,500 shipped.

    Mark Millman

  6. #6
    Folks,

    Reduced to $1,250 shipped.

    Mark Millman

  7. #7
    Folks,

    Reduced to $1,000 shipped.

    Mark Millman

  8. #8
    Bump.

  9. #9
    Folks,

    Reduced to $925 shipped.

    Mark Millman

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