Paris, Claude de Monstr’œil, 1599.
4to [223 x 165 mm] of (4) ll., 199 ll. wrongly numbered 197, 87 engravings in the text and 1 large folding plate outside the text, a few browned ll. Contemporary limp vellum, flat spine with the hand-written title, marks of ties. Contemporary binding.
Very rare first edition of the most ancient work on stunts, one of the most beautiful French illustrated book from the 16th century.
Rahir, La Bibliothèque de l’amateur, 663; Adams T-1017; Lipperheide 3037; Brun, p. 306.
“First edition of a very peculiar book, written in French by an Italian from Abruzzo, who, after having been the gymnast of Emperor Maximilian, strongly attached to the Court of Charles IX, ‘who was taking a notable pleasure’ from his exercises. The large folded plate of the ‘Hoops Jump’ is often missing. Mr. Claudin dedicated an interesting note to the description of this rare book in the cat. Luzarche.”
Brunet, V, 972.
“The first edition of this peculiar work has been written in French, even if the author is Italian. Tuccaro was at the service of King Charles IX, after having been a gymnast and an equilibrist for Maximilian II. Tuccaro often participated in public celebrations, and therefore he appeared in the first dialogue in a castle in Touraine, belonging to Honoré de Beuil and where King Charles IX was welcomed. Tuccaro, while doing his exercises, talks about his condition and 88 peculiar woodcuts represent 88 different poses. One of the figures representing the ‘hoops jump’ is extremely curious and is folded. It is very rare, especially intact.” (Librairie Damascène Morgand, n° 9594, on the edition of 1616).
The 87 full-page or half-page figures represent spectacular gymnastic exercises.
“A large folding plate, representing a jump through hoops, and, in the text, 87 figures, including several of them full-page, show acrobats doing jumps and aerobatics exercises, all of those wood engraved.” (Brun, Le Livre français illustré de la Renaissance, 306)
Very rare book: 6 copies listed in OCLC : Harvard, Getty, NYPL, Syracuse, Newberry Library, Illinois State University.
Precious wide-margined copy, complete with its large folding plate that is often missing, preserved in its contemporary limp-vellum binding.