12mo, pp. , 8-22; copper-engraved device ‘The Mask is off’ printed in red to title; light dust-staining to title, very small paper-flaw, subtly repaired tears to final leaf; a good copy in early twentieth-century green paper over boards; gilt morocco lettering-piece lost from spine.
US $3174 €2916
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Ten Minutes Advice to every Gentleman going to purchase a Horse out of a Dealer, Jockey, or Groom’s Stable.
Very rare second edition of advice on the purchase of horses, with the tricks used by dealers to deceive buyers. Though the text is commonly attributed to Bracken, he is unlikely to have published anything a decade after his death; the author’s preface, signed ‘S.’, may offer a more productive lead. A concise work, the author notes: ‘This Treatise might have been swelled to a much greater size, but the Author thought it would prove too tedious; he hopes the shortness of it will not be deemed a fault, but rather a recommendation’ (p. 22); evidently not deemed a recommendation, the work was much expanded for future editions.
ESTC records only one institutional copy worldwide, at the British Library, and we could trace only one copy at auction (Christie’s, 2008). The first edition, published in 1774, is recorded in two copies (Bodleian and RVC). The collation is as described by ESTC, despite the discontinuous pagination and register.
ESTC T78787; not in Mellon nor Dingley; Christie’s, The Sporting Sale (2008), lot 26.
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SAUNIER, Jean de, and Gaspard de SAUNIER.
La parfaite connoissance des chevaux, leur anatomie, leurs bonnes & mauvaises qualitez, leurs maladies & les remedes qui y conviennent.
First edition of Gaspard de Saunier’s most important work, the only one published during his lifetime. Gaspard de Saunier (1663 - 1748) established his reputation with the foundation of his equestrian academy at Leiden in 1707 and as riding master to the university there, having previously served as equerry to several notable nobles in France and practised at the French royal stables with his father, Jean de Saunier, ‘inspecteur de la grande écurie du roi’, who is credited by Gaspard as the original author of the text.
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Fifth edition, very scarce, of an anonymous early farriery manual. Among the first popular guides to farriery, a form which would be much copied throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Gentleman’s compleat Jockey (formerly attributed to Adolphus Speed) was first published in 1696 and soon underwent several editions, each of which survives in limited numbers only. Of this edition OCLC records three copies worldwide (Keeneland, Texas, Berlin).