Fencing Master; Germany, c. 1835

The plates they are a'changing

The plates they are a'changing




The Fencing master in four languages…

Updating the Orbis Pictus by Johann Amos Comenius we have encountered before, Jacob Gailer published a Neuer Orbis Pictus für die Jugend first in 1832. By the fifth edition, published in 1842 by Johann Conrad Maecken Jr. in Reutlingen Germany, he was up to 322 lithograph illustrations (two per plate). Each illustration was accompanied by a 5 language explanation in English, German, French, Latin and, newly added for the first time in this edition, Italian.

The top image and the text are taken from a pre-1842 edition. The lower image, executed far more crudely and in deliberate imitation of the one above,  cannot be dated by me. But the presence of Hieber (also known as Korbschläger or basket-hilt broadswords) would point at a later edition… published at a time when cut fencing had become more popular among German students.

Orbis pictus Fechtmeister Amberger CollectionOrbis Pictus Fechtmeister Amberger Collection

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