L’Instruction du Roy, en l’exercice de Monter à Cheval…

Price : 35.000,00 

The famous Henri Gallice copy of the « first edition in conformity with Pluvinel's manuscript » of l'Instruction du Roy en l'exercice de monter à cheval.
 A remarkable copy with 67 plates by the virtuoso engraver Crispin de Passe (1564-1637), a friend of Pluvinel, including the frontispiece, 4 portraits, 56 double-page plates and 6 plates for the bits, which is two additional plates compared to the copy at the B.n.F. (Arsenal, FOL-S-1780).

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SKU: LCS-18479 Categories: ,

A Paris, Michel Nivelle, 1625.

Folio with 1 double-page engraved frontispiece, (8) preliminary ll. including the title, a full-page portrait of Louis XIII, a portrait of Roger de Bellegarde, a portrait of the author, the excerpt from the privilege, a portrait of Menou, 207 pp., 62 double-page plates.

Full jansenist red morocco, ribbed spine with gilt title, gilt inner border, gilt edges. Signed binding by Thibaron-Joly, circa 1875.

371 x 250 mm.

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‘First edition in conformity with the author’s ms’. (Brunet, suppl.).

It is very rare.

‘This edition is, in fact, the first of this work, since it is the first to have been made in accordance with the author’s manuscript. It also includes the original plates by Crispian de Pas, with the frontispiece and the two portraits engraved for the Maneige royal. There is also a portrait of Roger de Bellegarde, grand écuyer, and that of René Menou. The printed title is often missing’. (Brunet) – the printed title is present here.

“The edition of Paris, Pierre Rocolet, 1627, large folio with an engraved frontispiece, dated 1629, is less expensive.”

One of the most beautiful books existing on the art of dressage, of which Pluvinel (1552-1620), first squire to the young Louis XIII, was one of the most considerable masters.

Remarkable copy with 67 plates by the virtuoso engraver Crispin de Passe (1564-1637), friend of Pluvinel: the frontispiece, 4 portraits, 56 double-page plates and 6 plates for the bits, meaning two additional plates compared to the copy at the B.n.F. (Arsenal, FOL-S-1780).

“In the Bibliothèque Nationale copy, there are 65 plates including the frontispiece, the portraits and the 6 plates for the bits. It is very rare to find them complete.” (Mennessier de la Lance).

Pluvinel (1555-1620) was sent as a child to study in Italy under Pignatelli. Brought back to France in 1572 by Sourdis, first equerry to Charles IX, he was appointed first equerry to the Duke of Anjou, the future Henry III, who showered him with honours, as did Henry IV, who maintained him in his offices and benefits.

When the treatise of La Broue was published, Antoine de Pluvinel founded an academy in Paris, on the site of today’s Place des Pyramides. It was intended for young French nobility to spare them the trip to Italy, where they sometimes lost their lives and often their health and fortunes. As well as riding, dancing and weapons, the school also taught mathematics, literature, poetry, painting and music.

Forcing the horse to take pleasure in everything he does until he is free to do so.

“It is to him that we owe the establishment in France of riding academies. He is the author of the Manége royal, où l’on peut remarquer le défaut et la perfection du cavalier en tous les exercices de cet art, fait et pratiqué en l’instruction du roi (Louis XIII), Paris, fol. This work, published after the author’s death by J.-D. Peyrol, is illustrated with a frontispiece engraved with the portrait of Louis XIII and that of Pluvinel, and 63 large plates engraved by the famous Crispin de Pas, and representing, in the various positions of the horseman, the young lords who attended the academy at the time. This edition is much sought after because of the beauty of the engravings, although the publisher has truncated the text in an unfortunate manner; it was reproduced in 1624, but this reprint, in which the plates are bent, is less valuable. René Menou de Charnizay, a friend of Pluvinel, reprinted this more complete work, in accordance with the author’s manuscript, in 1625, folio, under the title: Instruction du roi en l’exercice de monter à cheval, etc. In addition to the plates from the previous edition, this one contains the portrait of Roger de Bellegarde, grand écuyer, and that of Menou. It is this edition that has served as the basis for all the reprints that have been made of this work, both in French and in German”. (Michaud).

Pluvinel is credited with inventing the ‘single pillar’ and the ‘double pillar’. Used for breaking-in, the single pillar around which the lead rope is wrapped replaces the man on foot. It was used to teach the horse to do round volleys on which it could chase its hips. Attached to the double pillar, the horse learns to stand on his haunches and then to form school jumps.

The 1625 edition was printed in a small run and is rarely seen on the market.

The superb illustrations include 56 large copper-engraved pictures after drawings by Crispin de Passe.

Very well drawn, these animated plates represent Antoine de Pluvinel teaching the equestrian art to the great men of the Court: the king Louis XIII is represented on several engravings, as well as Roger de Bellegarde and Bellou, the King’s Grand Ecuyer.

All these pictures are surrounded by frames of columns and porticoes surmounted by the royal coat of arms.

Some of the prints offer interesting views of the city of Paris and some of the buildings of the time, such as the Louvre. Pluvinel’s portrait is inserted at the beginning of the book.

A very rare book very sought-after when complete.

The Librairie Sourget only owned the second edition of 1627, which was catalogued and sold for 130,000 FF (20,000 €) in December 1992, 32 years ago.

Deschamp quotes a copy of this 1625 edition bound in morocco by Padeloup “sold at the extraordinary price of 4,450 fr. baron Pichon, and raised to 6,200 in the catalogue of the acquiring bookseller”. (Brunet).

6,200 F.Or at a time when a bibliophile book was negotiated from 2 Fr. Or.

Famous provenance: ex-libris Henri Gallice (1853-1930), heir and director of the Perrier-Jouët champagne house; Stephen Vincent Grancsay (1897-1980), historian, curator of the Department of Arms and Armour at MoMA in New York.

References: Franken, L’œuvre gravé des Van de Passe (1881), 1360; Nissen, Zoologische Buchillustration, 3201; Mennessier de la Lance, Bibliographie Hippique, II, p. 330.

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