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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: In Service of the Duke: the Paulus Kal fechtbuch         Reply with quote

I just received my copy of the Paulus Kal manuscript from Chivalry Bookshelf. Let me just say how fantastic it is. This is without a doubt the nicest reproduction of a fencing manuscript I've ever seen, medieval or otherwise. First off, the pages are HUGE, showing of the truly beautiful, full color artwork. The detail in each of the images is wonderful: You can really get a good look at the details of the clothing, armour, and decorations that each person is wearing, making this a wonderful resource for studying 15th century fashion.

The translation is very clear, and while Paulus Kal's book is not as detailed in text as Ringeck or von Danzig, it still fills in a number of holes that other treatises don't purely because of the great images. I've been fortunate enough to be able to work with this manual for a little while thanks to Christian, who allowed me to work with an earlier translation of his, but seeing this book in it's full size and color glory has really made me realize just how much more amazing this book is than I previously thought (not to mention how much work it must have been to put this into print). To paraphrase Greg Mele, this book is what we wished Talhoffer was. Happy Furthermore, it has Christian's commentaries and interpretations of the individual plates in the back of the book, making this more than just a reprint.

It doesn't matter if you don't study specifically the Liechtenauer tradition of fencing. It doesn't even matter if you study swordsmanship at all, really. This book is a wonderfully faithful reproduction of a work of art that can really give us another window into the 15th century, and for that the book is worth every last cent. If you're interested in medieval history, medieval fashion, medieval armour, or even medieval art, this book is incredibly valuable.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh my god. I just this minute got mine, too. I can't believe it, I had *no* idea it was going to be this magnificent. I've had a very small bit of the translation before this (mostly the pollaxe and a dozen or so other plays) so Kal has become more important in my studies (and teaching) but having all of this, now... it's just too remarkable.

I ordered this book in August and it just arrived this afternoon and I was getting more and more frustrated with each new delay, but I can already see that this is *more* than worth the wait. Wow. I am dumbstruck.

Off to study more Kal.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: In Service of the Duke: the Paulus Kal fechtbuch         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
It doesn't matter if you don't study specifically the Liechtenauer tradition of fencing. It doesn't even matter if you study swordsmanship at all, really. This book is a wonderfully faithful reproduction of a work of art that can really give us another window into the 15th century, and for that the book is worth every last cent. If you're interested in medieval history, medieval fashion, medieval armour, or even medieval art, this book is incredibly valuable.


I spent a dozen years as a professional graduate student, so I'm no stranger to $100+ books. But this has got to be the most amazing book I own. I have dry as dust textbooks that a decade ago cost more than this piece of art. This book is also beautifully bound and has a heavy cardboard protective sleeve as well. I'm not sure when I'll be able to actually "read" it, I'm spending so much time just admiring the art. Cool (Actually, ogling might be a better word.) Wink

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Mark Mattimore




Location: Cincinnati OH
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PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine arrived today as well. Let me echo what everyone else is saying here. This book is STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL. For a book junkie like me it was worth every penny and then some. Even if I had no interest in medieval a&a I probably would have brought it anyway just for the illustrations and magnificent binding. A true work of art itself. It is also now the second biggest book I own. I hope Chivalry Bookshelf continues to publish more titles of this level. My highest praise to Christian, Brian and everyone involved in this project. Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation
In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Thu 08 Mar, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to throw a monkey wrench or anything, but I've spent practically 6 hours in constant study of this *magnificent* book at this point--does it seem as if the binding is a little on the wimpy side? Now I'm worried it'll come apart from overuse.
Regards,
Hugh
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2007 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Folks,

Thanks very much for the kudos - I'm really glad you guys are enjoying the book. As Bill pointed out, the full size color images reveal a wealth of detail regarding costume, weapons, and armour.

Hugh, the binding on my copy (I only have one advance copy and am awaiting my 'stash') seems hearty enough, but I can't speak for yours. Hopefully, these will hold up fine over time.

I'd like to take this opportunity to re-thank the Bavarian State Library, the KHM in Vienna (who provided corroborative images), Mr. Greg Mele, the Chivalry Bookshelf, my students, and everyone else who contributed to this project. I am indeed in the debt of so many enthusiastic and generous individuals.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Hugh Knight




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
Hello Folks,

Thanks very much for the kudos - I'm really glad you guys are enjoying the book. As Bill pointed out, the full size color images reveal a wealth of detail regarding costume, weapons, and armour.

Hugh, the binding on my copy (I only have one advance copy and am awaiting my 'stash') seems hearty enough, but I can't speak for yours. Hopefully, these will hold up fine over time.

I'd like to take this opportunity to re-thank the Bavarian State Library, the KHM in Vienna (who provided corroborative images), Mr. Greg Mele, the Chivalry Bookshelf, my students, and everyone else who contributed to this project. I am indeed in the debt of so many enthusiastic and generous individuals.


Hi Christian,

I hope you won't take that question about the binding as a condemnation: I am worried about the copy I have, but only because the sewn edge seems more flexible than other books I've seen of this type, not because it's started to give. Still this book is, as I said, magnificent. You should feel immensely proud for bringing this superb resource to all of us, and doing it in such a handsome, elegant form just makes it even better. I've been immersed in it almost continuously since it arrived.

Now that we've gotten to see a published version of a Fechtbuch that shows all the color and vivacity it was intended to have... Ummm... Have you looked at Talhoffer's Alte Armatur un Ringkunst? (I ask that rhetorically--I read what you wrote about it.) Now *there's* a book that needs to be translated and published. I've translated almost all of the Fechtbuch plates, but the Kriegsbuch and the stuff at the back are beyond my very poor translation skills, and this would certainly make another superb Chivalry Bookshelf offering!

Regards,
Hugh
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Christian Henry Tobler
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Location: Oxford, CT
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2007 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Hugh!

No, I wasn't offended in the least by your concern. I hope yours holds up well, and I appreciate the praise you've heaped on the project.

I have indeed considered the '59 Talhoffer, though I think maybe what we need is a Talhoffer concordance of some sort. I'm very interested in the non-Fechtbuch material in the 1459, which should be unsurprising given my interests in the Western mystic tradition, which clearly is in evidence there.

My next *translation* work, aside from the text-only von Danzig, though will likely be the Peter Falkner manuscript (c. 1490-95), which is another colorful work, though not of the artistic calibre of Kal, I'm afraid.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Mar, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
I have indeed considered the '59 Talhoffer, though I think maybe what we need is a Talhoffer concordance of some sort. I'm very interested in the non-Fechtbuch material in the 1459, which should be unsurprising given my interests in the Western mystic tradition, which clearly is in evidence there.


I actually wondered if that would attract you. I have a friend who is Jewish and we were trying to puzzle out the Hebrew section to see whether it was just a language thing or whether it was, as I assumed, cabalistic. And, of course, we've discussed the name stuff in the beginning of the Gothaer Codex, I think.

I've actually tried to translate the 1459 Fechtbuch--just the fighting plates--and I've managed all of it except about three plates. I was wondering if you'd be willing to take a look at the what I've done just for a ctitique. I tried doing the rest--especially the very beginning section before the Kriegsbuch proper--and I have to admit it's simply beyond me. But the Fechtbuch plates are enough like the Ambraser Codex (which I've already translated) and Rector's 1467 translation that I could fight my way through it (with help).

Quote:
My next *translation* work, aside from the text-only von Danzig, though will likely be the Peter Falkner manuscript (c. 1490-95), which is another colorful work, though not of the artistic calibre of Kal, I'm afraid.


I'm very interested in the Falkner; I have only seen one or two plates from it, but based on what you wrote in this book I gather there's a lot more there than I realized. And when can we expect the von Danzig translation? I find myself turning more and more to his work but I have my doubts about some of the translations in the source I'm using.

And by the way, I *love* the way you've connected Kal's material with the other Liechtenauer-tradition authors in the back. I'm really enjoying it.

Regards,
Hugh
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Hugh,

I'm sorry - I just saw that you'd responded again here...

Quote:
I actually wondered if that would attract you. I have a friend who is Jewish and we were trying to puzzle out the Hebrew section to see whether it was just a language thing or whether it was, as I assumed, cabalistic. And, of course, we've discussed the name stuff in the beginning of the Gothaer Codex, I think.


I don't think it's cabalistic. In fact, cabbalah doesn't come to the attention of non-Jewish scholars until much later. As a digression, this is my problem with modern mystics and neo-pagans drawing connections between the Tree of Life and the trumps of the Tarot: the latter was devised (almost certainly purely as a cardgame, and right out of the court that Fiore flourished in) too early for any cabalistic symbolism to be inherent in it. Any connections are therefore purely syncretic in nature. In any case, this is simply an alphabet as far as I see.

The section immediately following this is an exposition on the 'Children of the Planets' that we see in so many works of this time period; it's a description of the astrological nature of the planets and their effect upon character and human nature. This is then followed by a treatise on anatomy, which I haven't really read. (For that matter, I've only skimmed the planetary stuff...it's a bit trick to read).

Of course, as you no doubt know, the war machines are derived from Kyeser's Bellifortis or some variant thereof.

Quote:
I've actually tried to translate the 1459 Fechtbuch--just the fighting plates--and I've managed all of it except about three plates. I was wondering if you'd be willing to take a look at the what I've done just for a ctitique. I tried doing the rest--especially the very beginning section before the Kriegsbuch proper--and I have to admit it's simply beyond me. But the Fechtbuch plates are enough like the Ambraser Codex (which I've already translated) and Rector's 1467 translation that I could fight my way through it (with help).


I can have a gander at this, sure. I might not get to it right away though...to say I'm swamped right now is to do disservice to swamps everywhere! Wink

Quote:
I'm very interested in the Falkner; I have only seen one or two plates from it, but based on what you wrote in this book I gather there's a lot more there than I realized. And when can we expect the von Danzig translation? I find myself turning more and more to his work but I have my doubts about some of the translations in the source I'm using.


Danzig is waiting on my figuring out how to structure it into a book. As a text-only work, it's not a 'sellable product' in and of itself, so I feel it needs to be bundled with something eye-catching.

Falkner is neat, but primarily for its poleaxe, staff, mounted stuff, and especially the dagger, which is excellent. The longsword and messer have only verse, accompanied by occassionally idiosyncratic illustrations. And, as I said, it's no Kal as far as the art goes. Nonetheless, I've developed quite the soft spot for it, and it's a valuable resource for filling in a couple of gaps in both the dagger and axe stuff.

Quote:
And by the way, I *love* the way you've connected Kal's material with the other Liechtenauer-tradition authors in the back. I'm really enjoying it.


Thank you. That was the bulk of the work for me, and very important in my view. Especially when you're presenting such an expensive and artful book, it's important to clearly demonstrate *why* it's so valuable.

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts


Last edited by Christian Henry Tobler on Mon 12 Mar, 2007 9:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Mattimore




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 9:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
I have indeed considered the '59 Talhoffer, though I think maybe what we need is a Talhoffer concordance of some sort. I'm very interested in the non-Fechtbuch material in the 1459, which should be unsurprising given my interests in the Western mystic tradition, which clearly is in evidence there.

Hmmmm, this interests me quite a bit. I had no idea that Talhoffer's work reflected any of the mystery tradition. Of course you've probably forgotten more about Talhoffer than I've ever learned. Thank you for the information.

And I have to wholeheartedly agree with Hugh that this would make a great offering for Chivalry Bookshelf... simply because I'd like to have it Laughing Out Loud

Christian Henry Tobler wrote:
As a digression, this is my problem with modern mystics and neo-pagans drawing connections between the Tree of Life and the trumps of the Tarot

We can blame Eliphas Levi for that Wink Big Grin

In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Mar, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Mark,

Mark Mattimore wrote:
Hmmmm, this interests me quite a bit. I had no idea that Talhoffer's work reflected any of the mystery tradition. Of course you've probably forgotten more about Talhoffer than I've ever learned. Thank you for the information.


The correspondences with the elements, virtues, planets, etc. are quite in evidence throughout this material, and in related materials such as Hausbucher, Kriegsbucher, etc. I have a whole presentation on this that I use for my students, because Selohaar is a mystic chivalric tradition.

Quote:
And I have to wholeheartedly agree with Hugh that this would make a great offering for Chivalry Bookshelf... simply because I'd like to have it Laughing Out Loud


Well, I certainly won't rule this out as a project.

Quote:
We can blame Eliphas Levi for that Wink Big Grin


Yep, and Court de Gebelin! Wink

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My book just arrived today. I needed to take a moment and mention not only what a superb edition this is, but also how impressed I am by Chivalry Bookshelf's customer service. When I ordered the book, I requested that it be packed with some extra padding. Military mail tends not to be gentle, and my Amazon boxes regularly show up looking like they've been trampled by a buffalo. My Palus Kal arrived hermetically sealed in something like three separate layers of cardboard and padded so well that the book arrived in perfect condition, in spite of the outer box taking a fair amount of damage, no doubt from the aforementioned buffalo.

The book itself is beautiful; easily the highest production value of any fechtbuch reproduced to date. I can’t wait for this weekend when I’ll have time to sit down with it at length with a glass of wine and perhaps a waster where I can easily get at it. My thanks to Sir Christian and the entire Chivalry Bookshelf team for bringing this masterpiece into being. I eagerly await your next project.

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Mar, 2007 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Sam,

Thanks very much for your compliments. I'm very glad you're enjoying the book!

All the best,

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
Order of Selohaar

Freelance Academy Press: Books on Western Martial Arts and Historical Swordsmanship

Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mere words cannot begin to describe the full beauty of this book and Christian Tobler's work is just absolutely fantastic!
Needless to say "In Service of the Duke" is the centerpiece of my library dedicated to this hobby which now consists of some 100 books! I have number 519 and as a matter of fact I use gloves whenever I handle this book, as it is absolutely precious to me and I consider myself lucky to be one of the owners of this Masterful Work Exclamation
Christian Tobler's analysis is invaluable to me, so as to understand everything in detail, and of course I have all of Christian Tobler's books.
I showed the book to my cousin "Jim Conahan" a very accomplished artist and a member of myArmoury, Jim thought this book was the most beautiful publication he'd ever seen Exclamation In fact it was Jim who advised me to handle the book with the wearing of gloves so as to not get the oils and acids from my hands on the pages.
As my wife "Gayle" said, ( a very learned and well read person) said upon seeing this book, this is publishing at it's very best!
The book case, everything about this book is a work of art, it's "Awesome" Exclamation

Sincerely,

Bob
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Bob Burns




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PostPosted: Fri 30 Mar, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something I would like to add and this thread seems as appropriate a place to do so. A few months ago while in
Barnes and Nobles, although I am a Borders Books person, I discovered a cheaper version of a wonderful tool that I think would interest many myArmoury Members. A 2 1/2 inch diameter 4 X magnification dome that you simply slide across whatever it is your reading. It is especially helpful in examining illustrations in books and so forth, and it also draws light. Here are a couple of links, one is to a very high end company that makes these domes and these will give you absolute distortion free magnification, although rather expensive, running as much as a tad bit over a hundred dollars.

http://www.magnifyingaids.com/index.php?page=...d=4#454493

http://www.2spi.com/catalog/magnifiers/spi-dome-magnifiers.shtml <~~~~ Distortion Free Magnification

http://www.maxiaids.com/store/prodList.asp?id...Magnifiers
Another interesting selection

It is my sincere hope that many members find this to be a useful tool in their hobby! Right now I just have an economical model mentioned above, but even with this, I am able to see so much more in detail of very tiny details in illustrations and it's really maximizing my enjoyment of this Grand publication "In Service Of the Duke", as it magnifies everything 4 fold and draws in light, and I am not a person who needs to wear glasses to read.

However, now I am really thinking very seriously of buying one of these high end domes for distortion free viewing and no doubt they will draw in more light. As a matter of fact I believe one of the domes at the last website listed is a 6 x power dome.

But I've been using this dome for months now and for some reason it never caused a synaptical charge between the dendrites and axons of my brain cells to write a post on the matter Idea Confused DUH! Laughing Out Loud

Sincerely,

Bob
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