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Pioneering work on fortification design, building techniques and equipment,
with more than 150 woodcut illustrations

LORINI, Buonaiuto.
Delle fortificationi ... libri cinque.
Venice, Antonio Rampazetto, 1597 (colophon: 1596). Large folio (34.5 x 25 cm). With a large engraved device on the title-page, woodcut printer's device above the colophon, an engraved plate with a portrait of the author (often lacking), and more than 150 diagrams and woodcut illustrations on the integral leaves, many full-page or double-page. Modern vellum in 17th-century style.
€ 3,000
First edition, one of the 1597 issues (with a rare dedication), of the pioneering "first systematic course of instruction in all aspects of military architecture, and the first work to give measured [fortification] plans in its illustrations" (Breman), in the original Italian. It covers not only the design and building of fortifications, but also the mechanics and hydraulics of the equipment and machinery used, which are extensively illustrated in great detail. Buonaiuto Lorini (ca. 1542?-1611?), a Florentine nobleman, fought for the Spanish in Flanders from ca. 1568 and in 1582 was appointed engineer to the Venetian republic, where he established his reputation with fortifications to defend cities from the Ottoman Empire. The book discusses Lorini's own and other fortifications in the Venetian republic, the Dalmation coast, Malta, Cyprus and elsewhere. Besides a wide variety of fortification plans, views, etc., the book illustrates cannons and their carriages, block and tackles, paddle wheel-driven machinery, hoists, jacks, pumps, carts, boats, a stamping mill, bridge building and much more.
With ownership inscription and ink stamps. With a few of the largest woodcuts slightly shaved, some minor and mostly marginal water stains in the first two quires of the main text and an occasional marginal defect in the paper, but otherwise in very good condition. An essential work for any collection of militaria, especially remarkable for the illustrations of machinery and equipment.
Breman, Military architecture Venice 163 (mentioning this dedication, not seen); Cockle 791 note; Jähns, pp. 844-848
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Early printing & manuscripts  >  Maritime & Military History
Military history  >  Fortification & Military Architecture | Military History up to 1700