Instruction for bombardiers

[Artillery]. "Instrucione a Scollari Bombardieri". 17th century Italian illustrated manuscript treatise about artillery and cannons.

[Italy], 1673.

Folio (ca. 210 x 305 mm). Ink manuscript on paper (watermark: eagle and coat-of-arms). 129 written pp. on 72 ff., paginated 5-98 (with lacunae) and 105-147. Numerous inserted leaves and illustrations. Contemporary carta rustica with title inscribed to front cover.


An extensive, illustrated manuscript treatise for the instruction of artillerists, couched as a dialogue between an apprentice bombardier and his master, entitled "Discorso fatto in dialogo trà il maestro e lo scollaro bombard[ie]re nel quale si comprende tutto quello che è necessario per saper ben maneggiare l'artiglieria". Written in brown ink in a single large gathering, including 15 pages of ink drawings laid into the manuscript, and a second section beginning on page 105 titled "Prattica del Can[on]e", in three smaller gatherings. Separate indices for the two sections at the end. The omitted pages 99-104 would appear to have been blank (as are pp. 43-47 at the end of the second section), and while the page numbering in the first section is not entirely consecutive, the text appears entirely complete, with no references in the index to unrecorded page numbers.

Browning to the laid-down drawings; some worming and several small holes and dampstains. From the collection of Thomas Fremantle, 3rd Baron Cottesloe (1862-1956), commander of the Territorial Army and president of the Society for Army History Research.

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