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Classic work on fortification, with 24 double-page plates,
including spectacular mountain-top fortresses

SPECKLIN, Daniel.
Architectura von Vestungen, ...
Strasbourg, Lazarus Zetzner, 1608. Folio in 4s (34 x 23.5 cm). With the title-page printed in red and black within architectural scrollwork frame engraved by Mattheus Greuter, engraved coat of arms, engraved author's portrait by Johann Theodor de Bry, 24 double-page engraved plates (1 signed by Mattheus Greuter and others attributable to him), and around 30 woodcut illustrations in the text. Lacking 1 single-page plate with 2 figures. Contemporary vellum.
€ 5,000
Third edition of a great and stunningly illustrated classic of the art of fortification, first published at Strasbourg in 1589 and expanded for the second and third edition. The plates, the frame of the title-page and the portrait are printed from the copper plates of the 1589 and 1599 editions. The 8 spectacular views of mountain-top fortresses on two double-page plates might have inspired designs for the Lord of the Rings films and other fantasy imagery. They include Château de Fleckenstein in Alsace, Schloss Pfirt (Ferrette) west of Basel, Salm, Hermannstein, Asserton, Hohenfels and others, now ruined or gone. Specklin had planned to write a second part on offence but died the year the present part on defence appeared. Daniel Specklin (1536-1589), "the century's most important German military architect" (Pollack), learned the art of fortification under the imperial engineer and Baumeister Hermann Schallantzer in Vienna.
Lacking 1 single-page plate, as noted above. A previous owner abraded the bare breasts of the two female figures on the title-page. With a few mostly marginal water stains in the first 5 leaves and an occasional sheet slightly browned, but otherwise in good condition and only slightly trimmed, preserving a couple fore-edge deckles and leaving generous margins. A masterpiece not only of fortification but also of the art of illustration.
Berlin Kat. 3517; Jähns I, 120 note; VD17, 23:322156N (7 copies); cf. Pollack, Cities at war, p. 82.
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Related Subjects:

Art & architecture  >  Architecture & Gardens
Maritime & military history  >  Fortification & Military Architecture