Di Antonio Manciolino bolognese Opera nova, dove li sono tutti li documenti et vantaggi che si ponno havere nel mestier de l’armi d’ogni sorte novamente corretta et stampata

Autore: MANCIOLINO, Antonio (fl. Ia metà del XVI secolo)

Tipografo: Niccolò Zoppino

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1531

Formato: in ottavo

8vo (144x98 mm). 63, [1] leaves. Collation: A-H8. With a woodcut vignette on title page, 7 woodcuts in text, and printer's device on last leaf verso. Colophon on l. H7v. Italic type. Red morocco signed by Devauchelle, double gilt fillet on panels, richly gilt spine with five small raised bands and green morocco lettering piece, gilt edges. Title page and last leaf slightly soiled. A very good copy.

RARE FIRST EDITION of one of the very first Italian treatises to be printed on fencing, preceded only by the Exercitationum atque artis militaris collectanea of Pietro Monti, published in Milan in 1509. The earlier Italian works on the subject, such as the Flos Duellatorum by Fiore de' Liberi (1409), the De arte gladatoria dimicandi by Filippo Vadi (c. 1482), and the recently discovered treatise by the so-called Anonymous Bolognese, had at the time a manuscript circulation and were published only much later. The Opera nova was composed around 1522 and was probably published after the author's death.

Little is known about the life of Antonio Manciolino, although his role was crucial in the evolution of fencing in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. He was one of the most important masters of the “Bolognese School”, which included Monti, Guido Antonio de Luca, Manciolino's teacher, and Achille Marozzo, who wrote an important treatise on fencing in 1536.

The Opera Nova represents a significant step towards an innovative form of fencing to be practiced on foot rather than on horseback as in the medieval tradition. The treatise is the first dedicated to the handling of the one-handed sword and is illustrated with woodcut vignettes printed at the beginning of each of the six books in which the matter is distributed. The author deals not only with the art of fencing, but also with the manner in which a gentleman should conduct himself in a quarrel (cf. A. Manciolino, Opera nova, M. Rubboli & A. Battistini, eds., Rimini, 2008, pp. 5-8).

Edit 16, CNCE41118; Sander, 4168; J. Gelli, Bibliografia generale della scherma, Milan, 1895, p. 125; J. Gelli, L'arte dell'armi in Italia, Bergamo, 1906, pp. 59-76.