Augspurg: Michael Manger, 1570. First German Edition. Folio, pp. [xx], (236), [xlii]. Title in red and black within an elaborate historiated woodcut border. With a profusion of fine full-page woodcut illustrations of horses and riders, equestrian equipment, etc. etc. Bound in 19th century blindstamped calf in 16th century style, all edges blue, rubbed, some minor foxing and soiling, some minor paper flaws, etc. The final double-page circular plate of a horse damaged and restored with some loss. Generally a fresh sound copy with wide margins and crisp images. Aubrey Beardsley designed bookplate. Brunet II, 1759; British Library STC page 372 (lists the 1573 edition only). Item #44600
The first true manual of horsemanship of the Italian Renaissance, the work of the Neapolitan nobleman Federico Grisone, who inaugurated his own school in 1532. Based on his experience, Grisone wrote Gli Ordini di Cavalcare, outlining methods for instructing the student in the style of the high school. Grisone worked primarily with war horses, and his training involved heavy curb bits and cruel punishments. He was greatly influenced by the works of Xenophon, the Greek cavalry officer, who lived about 400 B.C. Translated into the major European languages, Grisone's work became a standard reference book for the cavalry, and influenced equestrian thought for the following century.