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Second edition (1 year after the first, both very rare) of a classic on falconry and hawking by King Henri IV’s falconer

ARCUSSIA, Charles d'.

La fauconnerie ... Divisee en trois livres. Avec une briefve instruction pour traitter les autours, sur la fin de l'oeuvre, ...
Paris, Jean Houzé, 1599. 8vo. With Houzé's woodcut device, 6 full-page engravings of birds of prey (12.5 x 8.5 cm) plus 3 (of 5) repeats and all on integral leaves. Red goatskin morocco, signed in the foot of the front turn-in by M[arcel] GODILLOT (active as bookbinder 1938-1975), with wide gold-tooled turn-ins and gold fillets on board edge.

€ 18,000

Very rare second edition, one year after the equally rare first edition, of one of the earliest French treatises on falconry and hawking, by Charles d'Arcussia (1554-1628), falconer to King Henri IV (and later to Louis XIII), who dedicates it to the king. "The work is much esteemed on account of its originality and the amount of information it contains" (Harting), "the outcome of long practice and an astonishing amount of research work in every subject connected with [Arcussia's] favourite sport [hawking]" (Schwerdt). Jean Tholosan published the first edition at Aix-en-Provence in 1598, but the USTC records only 3 copies of each, all in French libraries except for a copy of the present edition at the Wellcome Library in London. The six birds of prey illustrated are described as: De l'espece du faucon premier de noz oyseaux, Du Lanier Nyais, Du sacre, Du Gerfaut, De l'Emerillon and De l'Autour Nyais.
With an 18th-century endleaf, a ca. 1800(?) monogram stamp on the title-page and a modern armorial bookplate. Washed and lacking F8 (supplied in facsimile), but that leaf contains only repeats of 2 engravings plus their captions and a 4-line verse, with no other text. Three other plates are slightly shaved, affecting the tip of one bird's tail (present in the repeat plate), the beak of another and a small bit of foliage in a third plate, a corner torn off 1 leaf (affecting one shoulder note), a small hole in another, a worm hole in the foot margin of the last few leaves and a faint water stain in the fore-edge margin of a few leaves. Still generally in good condition, the binding fine. Very rare classic of falconry and hawking.Harting, Bibl. accipitraria 153 note; Nissen, IVB 35; Ronsil 3120; Schwerdt, p. 41; Souhart, col. 16; Thiébaud, col. 28 & supp. col. 1050; USTC 20901 (3 copies); Wellcome I, 388; cf. Lindner, Bibl. Jagdliteratur 11.0077.01; for the binder Godillot: Fléty, p. 82.

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Related Subjects:

Horses & hunting  >  Falconry, Fishing & Hunting