The celebrated Dutch artist Jacob de Gheyn (1565-1625) put his considerable talents to work in this 1608 masterpiece, one of the earliest and most famous manuals of arms ever published. Eited in several language, it appear in Holland with the first title of Wapenhandelinghe van Roers, Musquetten ende Spiessen. Named: Maniement d’armes, d’arquebuses, mousquet et piques in French language, and Exercise of arms in England. Its 117 handsome copper engravings, with their captions, magnificently portray the step-by-step sequence for training foot soldiers in the handling of the standard weaponry of the XVII century warfare: muskets, matchlock or calivers, and pikes. This work of De Gheyn was realized in 3 great chapitres: 42 plates for the caliver (a small arquebuses), 43 for the musket, and last 33 plates for yhe use of pike in infantry tactics. This work of Jacob De Gheyn result of great importance also for the future great Rembrandt for his master art : The night watch. A priceless resource for the organization and training of troops, de Gheyn’s book created an overnight sensation throughout Europe and was quickly translated into several languages. An incredible number of imitations editions have since appeared, but The Exercise of Armes remains the classic. Above and beyond its intrinsic historic interest, the volume presents a meticulously accurate portrait of uniforms and weapons of the era of Netherlands and Europe, in addition to the aesthetic appeal of its remarkable engravings of this great artist!
Jacob de Gheyn