(Paris: François Ambroise Didot l'ainé, 1783). 315 x 235 mm. (12 3/8 x 9 1/8"). 5 p.l. (including half title), 116, 60 pp.,  leaves. FIRST EDITION.
Original publisher's paper boards, flat spine, edges untrimmed. Printer's device on title page, color lithograph headpiece with the crest of the Duc du Chatelet preceding the dedication, and 11 FOLDING COLOR LITHOGRAPH PLATES BY LOUIS MARIN BONNET. Brunet II, 1354; Graesse II, 620. Half-inch chip to head of spine, paper boards somewhat faded and abraded (as expected), corners bumped, but the insubstantial temporary binding still very sound and pleasing as an unlikely survival. Occasional short marginal tears, paper flaws, tiny rust spots, or other trivial defects but A REALLY FINE COPY INTERNALLY, clean, crisp, and rather bright, with generous margins, and the plates very fresh, their colors undimmed by time.
A work of great significance in the history of color printing, "Ideas of a Military Officer for the Disposition of Troops Entrusted to Young Officers in the Defense and Attack on Small Posts" is the only book illustrated by Louis-Marin Bonnet using an important pastel method of engraving, or "gravure en manière de pastel." The process was developed by Bonnet's teacher J. C. François in 1757; Bonnet (1736-93) improved the technique to add more tones and colors, so that prints resembled a drawing done using pastel chalks. The prints produced were of a higher quality, and the method was particularly useful in the present work, facilitating the interpretation of the military plans and movements depicted in the text. Fossé was a military engineer and an instructor at the training school for French infantry officers. The first part of this treatise discusses strategy and tactics for use in attacking or defending small military outposts (i.e., those manned by 30-300 men), while the second part offers detailed instructions on drawing colored field maps, illustrated by Bonnet's fine plates. Internally, our untrimmed copy looks very much as it did when originally issued, and the plates are particularly bright, with no wear to the folds. (ST15848)
Add to Cart Price: $4,500.00
PJP Catalog: 76.128