With Parrocel’s Famous Riding School Suite
La Guérinière, (François Robichon de). École de Cavalerie; Contenant la Connoissance, l’Instruction, et la Conservation du Cheval. 2 vols. Paris, Par la Compagnie (des Libraires), 1756. 8 unpag. ll., 319 pp.; 2 unpag. ll., 300 pp. With author’s portrait + frontispiece, engraved by Simon Henri Thomassin (1687 Paris 1741) after Louis Tocqué (1696 Paris 1772) and Benoit II Audran after Parrocel resp. and
33 (4 folded) engravings
(9⅝ × 4¾ and 7½ × 9⅝-10¼ in [19 × 12 and 19 × 24.5-26 cm] resp. leaf size) by (14, among which the folded engravings) and after Charles Parrocel (1688 Paris 1752). Contemporary calf binding.
Mennessier de La Lance II, 28. – Fourth octavo edition of the
fundamental Riding Instruction of the Royal Equerry
and founder of several riding schools, originally published in smallest format and without illustrations in 1729 and repeatedly republished well into the 19th century, for which Parrocel created his famous suite which led to the first illustrated and at the same time folio-sized edition of 1733. The first of the likewise illustrated octavo editions followed in 1736. – On the back of each of the titles list of the nine booksellers constituting the publishers’ “Compagnie”.
Bound fittingly to the text, the suite starts with 24 half-page dressage scenes on 12 plates also etched by Parrocel himself throughout, which are followed by 8 full-page, together portrait-like executed works, of which two likewise are worked by Parrocel alone, one with his invenit only, and the other five of his designs are executed by outside engravers (Tardieu, N. Dupuis, Laurent Cars, Beauvais, L. Desplaces). The four large folding plates – besides summary dressage overview one each richly opened up by numbers for the outer parts of the horse, its skeleton, and for the sick animal – again by him all alone. Bound in-between as fitting finally 9 engravings bridle, horseshoe, tools, and schemata, of which eight carry the engraver inscription of Guillaume Dheulland (D’Heuland, early 18th cent. until about 1770). Seven of Parrocel’s own inscription with only one “r”.
For the present portrait-like full-page engravings La Croupe au Mur + Le Piaffer here by the same engravers Dupuis and Cars resp. similarly worked folio formats of 1751 known (from the second folio La Guérinière of that year?), which instead of the dressage designation are inscribed with M. le Marquis de Beauvilliers and M. de Kraut resp. and are accompanied by their coats of arms, thereby per “pinx.” instead of “inv.” here going back to Parrocel’s corresponding paintings. The 24 half-page dressage scenes here by the way served Leonhard Michael Steinberger (1713 – Augsburg 1772) as freely related patterns for his 24-plate school published by Ridinger (Thienemann-Stillfried p. 295 + appendix III, p. 2; Schwarz vol. I, XXV).
“ Besides the astoundingly true depiction of the horse and all costume details P.s strength – Thieme-Becker judge 1936 – particularly lies
in the bold composition of lively animated groups .”
Seen and experienced as insider. 17/18 years old he served as cavalryman. And still 1744/45 he “accompanied the French army on its campaigns … and became eyewitness of the Battle at Fontenoy”. But then he already held a professorship, esteemed as history and especially battle painter trained at the great Tempesta as well as etcher, quite son of his father Joseph being on friendly terms with neighbor Diderot as at the same time his first teacher. Supposedly it was the younger one of the two of them Ridinger thought of in his late letter of 1765 to Johann Georg Wille in Paris (formerly Bavarian private collection and not in the Wille correspondence published 1999) as one of those “who all I envision as my masters and this is not said no I am convinced of it”.
Present edition identical with that of 1754 except for a few differences. The engraved small arms on the title of that here replaced by a woodcut vignette, the pagination of p. I/319 also differing. The contents of II set in larger type so that it only ends in the midst of p. 300.
The rubbed bindings slightly bumped at corners and edges as well as with few minor burst offs and worm traces. Front joint of vol. I and that of the back cover of II above and below each torn on 2-3.5 cm, but at most only minimally penetrating the interior, otherwise of absolutely intact binding whose red-brown marbled floral fly-leaf together with inner cover shall be mentioned especially. The white back of the fly-leaves and the white final leaf of II browned, evenly feebly still portrait, frontispiece, and title of II as well as one of the folding plates top back. Leaf 169/70 of I with old backing of the margin. Otherwise virtually stain-free copy with multiple interesting old owner’s mark:
Both front covers with armorial bookplate von Haugk on the interior, back of fly-leaf of I with written buyer’s note of Glogau (supposedly 18)42 and on both titles written “M. Troost. 1881. Capitaine”.
Shortly, positively up to the binding with its rich gilt tooled back and the red back-plates a roundly fine copy of this indispensable work with its Parrocel illustration setting the standard both artistically and hippologically as a value sui generis.
Offer no. 15,149 / sold
„ … zugleich bedanke ich mich für alles, was Sie im alten Jahr für mich getan haben. Mit vielen Grüßen Ihr … “
(Herr W. W., 20. Dezember 2008)