8vo, pp. xxiv, 519, [1 (blank)], with engraved frontispiece portrait; a few creased corners, very occasional spotting, nonetheless a very good copy; uncut in modern half sheep with cloth sides, borders roll-tooled with Greek-key motif, spine gilt in compartments and lettered directly in one; lightly rubbed with a light stain to upper board, flyleaves repaired; front flyleaf inscribed in large letters ‘Rob. Punckney, His Book, 1790’, with contemporary manuscript notes to half-title, frontispiece verso, title verso, final blank, and flyleaves, and 4 ff. manuscript notes bound in on stubs, manuscript date ‘1808’ to frontispiece verso.
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The Gentleman’s Stable Directory, or modern System of Farriery, comprehending all the most valuable Prescriptions and approved Remedies, accurately proportioned and properly adapted to every known Disease to which the Horse is incident, interspersed with occasional References to the dangerous and almost obsolete Practice of Gibson, Bracken, Bartlet, Osmer, and others, also particular Direction for Buying, Selling, Feeding, Bleeding, Purging, and Getting into Condition for the Chase, with experimental Remarks upon the Management of Draft Horses, their Blemishes and Defects, to which is now added a Supplement, containing practical Observations upon Thorn Wounds, punctured Tendons, and ligamentary Lameness, with ample Instructions for their Treatment and Cure, illustrated by a Recital of Cases, including a Variety of useful Remarks, with a successful Method of Treating the canine Species, in that destructive Disease called the Distemper.
‘Tenth edition, considerably enlarged and carefully corrected’, an annotated copy of one of the best known works on farriery. Though published only two years previously, the Gentleman’s Stable Directory had reached its tenth edition by 1790 and continued to be printed in extraordinary numbers until the end of the century. Despite this success, Pugh describes Taplin as ‘a very mediocre practitioner and writer’ (‘although better than a quack’). Nonetheless, he was a keen supporter of the professionalisation and scientific development of farriery, identifying in this work the errors of earlier authors, and ‘as far as one can tell, he was the only member of the old generation of farriers to attempt to associate himself with the new venture [the future Royal Veterinary College] in veterinary science’ (Pugh).
The present copy contains extensive contemporary manuscript notes detailing recipes relating to veterinary medicine as well as methods ‘to make Bats forsake the place’ and ‘to draw rats or mice into a Cage’.
ESTC N7981; cf. Dingley 609-614 for other editions; not in Mellon; cf. Pugh, From Farriery to Veterinary Medicine, 1785-1795 (1962), p. 28.
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