ASTROLOGY FOR HORSES:
'A MONUMENT TO IGNORANCE, BARBARISM, AND SUPERSTITION'

Le mareschal expert, traictant du naturel des chevaux, des marques de leur bonté, & remedes à toutes leurs maladies, avec un examen & forme de l’estat de mareschal, et une discription de toutes les parties & ossemens du cheval, representez en figures … augmenté d’une seconde partie, contenant plusieurs receptes tres-approuvées … pour toutes maladies & accidents qui peuvent arriver aux chevaux.

Paris, ‘Anthoine Alazert’, 1640.

8vo, pp. [16], 186, 75, 74-168; woodcut image of a horse to title and part-title and repeated thrice within text, woodcut portrait, 10 full-page woodcut illustrations (of which three folding), and woodcut ornaments and initials; foxed, damp-staining to lower margin, one folding woodcut (p. 132) defective; otherwise a good copy in contemporary limp vellum, endbands on vellum cores laced in, sewn bypass on two cords; superficially worn.

£1200

Approximately:
US $1487€1338

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Le mareschal expert, traictant du naturel des chevaux, des marques de leur bonté, & remedes à toutes leurs maladies, avec un examen & forme de l’estat de mareschal, et une discription de toutes les parties & ossemens du cheval, representez en figures … augmenté d’une seconde partie, contenant plusieurs receptes tres-approuvées … pour toutes maladies & accidents qui peuvent arriver aux chevaux.

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Very rare imprint of a popular but discredited work, proposing remedies based on the zodiac. ‘His small and popular treatise had an enormous success throughout France. It was republished many times well into the 19th century. The numerous subsequent editions are all in 8vo, testifying to the great commercial success in even the remotest parts of France of this concise, simple and undoubtedly cheap little manual, which also offered many prescriptions for horse diseases.’ (Dejager, p. 348). Its widespread popularity and commercial success is not, however, necessarily a sign of its quality, as expressed by Mennessier: ‘C’est un monument d’ignorance, de barbarie, de superstition et un instructif recueil des préjugés de l’époque’.

Though a common title, individual editions are all very scarce: USTC records one copy only of the present, at the BL (to which Copac adds Bodley). The imprint is possibly false: Mennessier notes that the dedicatory epistle of every edition is signed ‘Anthoine Alazert’, or some variant thereof.

USTC 6004603; not in Dejager (cf. 162); not in Mennessier (cf. vol. I, pp. 95-98); not in Mellon.

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