Lot 20

Francesco Tensini

 (  1579/81  -    1638  )

In folio (362 x 250 mm). 3 parts in 1 volume, [14], 83, [1], 83, [1], 128 pp plus plates. Contemporary full parchment binding, handwritten title and ribs passing through the spine. Worn ribs with deficiencies. 1 Ex libris on inner side of first board and 3 stamped Ex libris on second page. Allegorical figurative frontispiece engraved in copper by P. Sadeler and 48 plates including 11 double-page engraved in copper out of the text. Wonderful copy with hand-watercolored woodcut plates. Beautifully and extensively illustrated early work on the art and science of fortification, first published in 1624 and here in the 1630 issue of the 1624 edition. As the title indicates, it discusses the fortification, defence and conquest of fortresses used in various wars. Francesco Tensini (1581-1632 or later) had been a military engineer and officer in the service of the Duke of Bavaria, of the Spanish under Spinola against the Dutch before the Twelve Years' Truce of 1609, and of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. When he wrote the present work in 1624 he was in the government of the city of Venice. Jähns suggests Tensini's theories on fortification resemble those of his countryman Alessandro di Grotti, who had worked with him in the Bavarian army, suggesting they may have developed some of their innovative ideas together. But Van den Heuvel points out influences from Dutch fortification. The Dutch introduced many new ideas in fortification during their war of independence from Spain, and Tensini experienced them as an opponent in at least the years 1600 to 1605. A classic practical treatise on fortification, with 48 splendid plates. Cf. D'Ayala, Bibl. militare Italiana (1854), p. 123; ICCU (8 copies); Jähns, p. 1098; Jordan 3743.

Estimate € 4,000 - 6,000