Item Details

De Bry Rare Books

We are based in Oxford and focus on early travel books (16th - 18th centuries), maps and engravings. We were formally known as De Bry Engravings, but have updated our name to reflect our specialty of early travel books. Viewings by appointment.



"DE ARTE GYMNASTICA, LIBRI SEX. In quibus exercitationum omnium vetustarum genera, loca, modi, facultates, & quidquid denique ad corporis humani exercitationes pertinent, diligenter explicatur. Secunda editione aucti, & multis figuris ornati. Opus non modo medicis, verumetiam omnibus antiquarum rerum cognoscendarum, & valetudinis conseruandae studiosis admodum vtile" -Girolamo Mercuriale -Paris, Jacob du Puys -1577 -1st Paris edition (2nd illustrated edition and 3rd overall) -Quarto format (21x15cm approx) Complete text and with 24 woodcut engravings in text. Later (?18th Century) vellum. Some mild staining to centre of some pages. Text block intact but some loosening of block. Small burnhole to page 74. Later inkstamp to title page. Seminal work on the art and health benefits of gymnastics by the Italian physician Girolamo Mercuriale. By studying the lifestyle and exercises of the ancients, he supported the use of physical therapy to prolong health and prevent disease. The book is also an important study of gymnastics in the ancient world, and contains fascinating early engravings of bath houses, boxers and wrestling. The double page woodcut of boxers wrappings/gloves is particularly interesting.