Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

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Zaal Books
Steinenburglaan 12
NL-3731 GG De Bilt
The Netherlands


Jeroen Zaal


+31-6-42600325 +31-6-42600325



An original, well-kept, very legible military manuscript on siege and fortification from antiquity to modern times
L. van der MUELEN Belegering en Verdediging der Vestingen bij de ouden en in den tegenwoordigen tijd. Ca. 1810.

8vo (20,7 x 16,2 cm). (2), 133 pp. Illustrated with 8 nice full-page drawings in washed ink. Contemporary half-sheepskin with marbled boards. Spine with gilt fillets and a gilt-lettered orange morocco label.

An original, well-kept, very legible military manuscript on siege and fortification from antiquity to modern times by Lieutenant Van der Muelen who was a lecturer at the college for midshipmen.

He is known by two very rare publications on artillery and fortifications, both published in 1807 by Hendriksen from Rotterdam: "Handleiding in de artillerie, bestemd tot het geven van onderwijs, op het kadetteninstituut der marine van Zijne Majesteit den Koning van Holland" and "Iets over de veldverschansing en het aanleggen van batterijen, tot eene handleiding bestemd, bij het onderwijs op het kadetten-instituut der marine, van Z. Maj. den Koning van Holland".

Worldcat quotes only 2 copies of the first publication and only 1 of the second publication.

The first 55 pages of this manuscript are devoted to descriptions of military instruments that were used by the Greek and Romans during sieges as e.g. the Corvus of Gaius Dullius and the Polyphastus of Archimedes, the battering ram, the movable towers, different kinds of catapults like the onager and ballista and a discussion of the methods of siege of fortifications by the Greek and Romans. In the section thereafter, the changes in warfare that were caused by the invention of gunpowder and its use in different kind of artillery are discussed. The next chapters depict the development of the fortification-science, culminating in Vauban's designs during the reign of Louis XIV, the different solutions for problems associated with the siege of fortifications as well as their defence. The final chapter is on the problems of landing operations from sea and its solutions.

The first sections of warfare in antiquity are accompanied by 8 splendid full-page drawings in washed-ink, depicting three models of a corvus, a Polyphastus, a battering ram, a movable tower, a catapult and a Ballista.

An excellent, well-kept and well-bound manuscript.
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Exhibitor: Zaal Books

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Amstelodami Celeberrimi Hollandiae Emporii Delineatio Nova, Johannes Blaeu, 1649


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