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Details

Object type

book

Title

Ergrundung Ritterlicher Kunst Der Fechterey

Artist/Maker

Andre Paurnfeindt

Place Associated

Austria, Vienna (place of manufacture)

Date

1516

Materials

paper, leather

Description

With the burgeoning of the printed book in Europe it was inevitable that teachings of the fight masters would be disseminated in this new media. Andre Pauernfeindt’s Ergundung Ritterlicher Kunst der Fechterey (The Mystery of the Knightly Art of Fencing) is the first fencing manual in print, and even more exceptionally, this is the only copy to survive. Pauernfeindt takes the ideas of the influential 14th-century fight master Johannes Liechtenauer. He changes the master’s cryptic rhymes into prose to make it more readily understandable. Simple woodcuts are employed to demonstrate the various guards and attacks. Pauernfeindt’s work was translated into French and published as La Noble science des joueurs despee in Antwerp in 1538. It was the first of a whole genre which would increase in popularity across Europe in the centuries to follow.

ID Number

E.1939.65.357

Location

In storage

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