However, he, like the other 116 coloured engraved plates that make up a 1608, first Dutch edition of Jacob de Gheyn’s Wapenhandelinghe van roers, musquetten ende spiessen is nevertheless providing instructions in handling pikes and muskets.
Standardised commands for drill masters, as well as step-by-step guidance for using arms are also featured in the plates.
It has been suggested that large folio format works such as this would not have been intended for common soldiers, and that this much reprinted work – known in English as ‘The Exercise of Arms’ – was aimed instead at those in command of local militias.
It has also been suggested that Rembrandt may have used its plates as a model for some of the figures in his famous painting of The Night Watch, now in the Rijksmuseum.
Showing some browning, foxing and dampstaining, this copy lacked the engraved title and the vellum binding, though contemporary, was also browned and spotted. It nevertheless sold well at €12,000 (£10,715) in a November 14-16 series of sales held by German saleroom Reiss & Sohn (18% buyer’s premium).