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ANGELO, Domenico & Henry.

The School of Fencing with a General Explanation of the Principal Attitudes and Positions peculiar to the Art.

London: [For the author,] 1787 Stock Code: 139926
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"Mr. Angelo & Son teach Fencing & the Broad Sword at Albany Buildings, Piccadilly"

First reduced edition of Domenico Angelo's renowned guide to swordsmanship, which was first published as a sumptuous folio in 1763, undoubtedly one of the most important such works ever issued in English. The editing and compression were undertaken by Domenico's son Henry "under the auspices of his father", who had recently retired to Eton where he continued to give lessons at the college; "I have endeavoured to render it of more general use, by reducing it both in size and price" (To the Reader). The plates were taken from those engraved for the Encyclopédie, Diderot having honoured Angelo's text by choosing it for the section on fencing. Mounted on the front pastedown is an attractive and informative engraved advertising slip (93 x 139 mm), "Mr. Angelo & Son this would be Henry's son, also Henry, who was to take over the school from him in 1817 teach Fencing & the Broad Sword, at Albany Buildings, Piccadilly", and also in Cateaton Street, Guildhall. Setting out rates for both establishments, in the City "One Guinea Entrance and One Guinea per Month", in Albany "Two Guineas Entrance & Two Guineas per Month. Per Lesson 7s. Perpetual Scholars, Twenty Guineas". This would date the piece to around 1790 when the academy was forced to move by the fire at the Italian Opera House in Haymarket, and before it relocated in larger premises shared with pugilist Gentleman John Jackson at The Bond Street School of Arms, frequented by such as Byron, Fox and Sheridan. Later gift inscription to the front free endpaper from a Mrs. ?Carlton, presenting the volume to Pargeter de Wingfield Yates, who served with the 1st Devon Artillery Volunteers in the 1860s.

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Landscape octavo (137 x 228 mm). Contemporary streaked calf, recently neatly rebacked to style in sprinkled sheep, red morocco label, double fillet gilt bands,


47 engraved plates.


A little rubbed and scuffed, rebacked as described, some consolidation at the corners and board edges, light browning throughout and occasional spotting, offsetting from the plates, a few of which are trimmed a little close at the fore-edge, just biting the plate numbers and plate-mark, small oily mark in the head margin of 5 plates and 5 leaves of text images and text unaffected, overall very good.


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