Military Exercises Army Maurits van Nassau: lancers [Jacob de Gheyn II, 1608] Catalogue.

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Catalogue of military costumes and exercises of the army of Maurits van Nassau in the Low Countries from: ‘Wapenhandelinghe van roers, musquetten ende spiessen …’, by Jacob de Gheyn II, published in The Hague in 1608, 3 parts.

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Wapenhandelinghe van roers, musquetten ende spiessen …

Catalogue of military costumes and exercises of the army of Maurits van Nassau in the Low Countries from: ‘Wapenhandelinghe van roers, musquetten ende spiessen: achtervolgende de ordre van Syn Excellentie Maurits, Prince van Orangie, Grave van Nassau & Gouveneur ende Capiteyn Generaal over Gelderlant, Hollant, Zeelant, Utrecht, Overijssel.’, by Jacob de Gheyn II, published in The Hague in 1607, 3 parts. (2nd. ed. in 1608). Containing 117 plates. We do not know the exact ed. of these plates, but as they are plate numbered we assume 1608. (Exercise of arms part of the lancers handling the pike / lansquenets / lance.)

From the 32 soldiers handling the pike / lansquenets / lance we carry plates: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 (trimmed), 10, 11 (trimmed), 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 (trimmed), 19 (trimmed), 21, 22 (trimmed), 23 (trimmed), 24 (trimmed), 26, 27, 31 (trimmed). On some plates we cary additional trimmed plates. All trimmed plates attached firmly to contemporary carrier sheet.

Ref: Lipperheide

The end of the sixteenth century saw a revival of interest in the military writings of the Romans. Translations of these works and studies of them, made their way to the commanders of the armies of the Northern Netherlands, causing the Frisian stadholder William Louis of Nassau, his brother John, and their cousin Prince Maurice to reorganise the armies under their command according to the Roman model. By thus standardising commands and instructions they managed to transform the motley mercenary troops with whom they had to fight the unequal battle against Parma’s regiments, into a well-disciplined army, ready for battle. In 1595 Maurits started experiments with sixty orthodox armed soldiers to fight against twenty soldiers armed in the Roman tradition with swords and shield. Showing all the actions and movements of soldiers handling the caliver (or harquebus), the musket and the pike. This manual was written according to the drill developed in the late 16th century by Johann II, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1561-1623) and introduced to the Dutch Army by his cousin Maurits, Prince of Orange (1567-1625). In 1606 De Gheyn was granted a 12-year privilege, and the Wapenhandelinghe became an instant success, issued in Dutch, English, French, German and Danish editions, as well as in smaller quarto editions with woodcut copies of the original engravings. The wide dissemination of this new type of weapon drill not only profoundly changed military practice in Europe, but also provided motifs for several kinds of decorative art.

The illustrations were designed by Jacques / Jacob de Gheyn II, (1565-1629).

This work this is considered by some as the most beautiful military work ever published.

Size: Image size c. 18,5×25 cm.

Medium: Copperplate engraving on hand laid paper with watermarks (pot).

Condition: mostly good; General age related toning; some soiling, mostly in margins. Some sheets with image trimmed plates attached to carrier. Inquire about condition of specific prints in collection or study scans carefully.

We absolutely guarantee the authenticity of this item. These are original prints from 1607-1608!

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