4to, pp. , 162, 162*-163*, 163-641, [1 (blank)], with 29 folding copper-engraved plates and 20 copper-engraved botanical plates; title printed in red and black, woodcut initials and ornaments; very slight scattered spotting; a very good copy in contemporary French mottled sheep, spine gilt in compartments, edges stained red, marbled endpapers, sewn on 5 cords; rubbed and scuffed, corners bumped (one with loss to surface), end-caps chipped with tail-band split and loose, gilt lettering-piece absent from spine; contemporary copper-engraved armorial bookplate to upper pastedown, with name erased but ‘Lincolns Inn’ legible.
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Le nouveau parfait maréchal, ou la connoissance générale et universelle du cheval, divisé en sept traités: 1o. de sa construction; 2o. du haras; 3o. de l’écuyer & du harnois; 4o. du médecin, ou traité des maladies des chevaux; 5o. du chirurgien & des operations; 6o. du maréchal ferrant; 7o. de l’apothicaire, ou des remedes; avec un dictionnaire des termes de cavalerie, le tout enrichi de figures en taille-douce.
Fourth edition of one of the most popular French horsemanship manuals. First published in 1741 as a successor to Solleysel’s famous Parfait maréchal and reprinted in at least sixteen editions over the following century, Le nouveau parfait maréchal ‘is considered to be the best popular French work on the subject, very complete without being too complicated for a general public; nor was it surpassed by any succeeding work’ (Dejager). Though François-Alexandre de Garsault (c. 1692–1778) did not follow his grandfather and uncle into prestigious positions in the royal stables, in his career as a naturalist he spent much of his life studying horses and visiting stud-farms around France. He wrote several important works on equestrianism, including reports for the minister for agriculture and entries for the Descriptions des arts et métiers, and published several works accompanied by his own illustrations after nature, as the present.
‘On voit que le succès du Nouveau Parfait Maréchal a été considerable. Ce n’est guère, cependant, qu’une compilation d’ouvrages antérieurs, mais avec un bon classement, dû à l’esprit méthodique et consciencieux de Garsault; plusieurs des figures, qu’il a toutes fidèlement dessinées d’après nature, sont intéssantes.’ (Mennessier de la Lance).
Many of the editions were sold by multiple booksellers, with variant titles. Though the 1770 edition is recorded, Mennessier de la Lance does not mention any Hochereau issues, OCLC finds only three copies worldwide (Getty, Virginia, and Solothurn), and none could be identified at auction.
Cf. Mennessier de la Lance I, pp. 526-527; cf. Dejager, pp. 602-607; not in Dingley; not in Mellon.
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