Items in red have not yet been verified with the holding library.
Manuscript Purgatory is for works that we have not yet indexed for one reason or another.
|No||The Book of Feats of Arms and Chivalry||before 1430||Lots||Christine de Pisan||BnF, etc.||https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=epXQh7B1w20C|
|No||De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi||ca. 1480s||Philippo di Vadi||Vatican Library||Possible second copy of De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi (MS Vitt.Em.1324)|
|No||1500s||Anonymous||Lost||Listed by Wassmannsdorff|
|Yes||Il Disegno Del signor Cesare Pagano, Cavaliere Nopoletano, su'l vero Teatro di Marte, Per la Teorica della Schrimia, All' Altezza, di Don Ferdinando, de Medeci, Gran Duca di Toscana||1592||Cesare Pagani||Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze|| (XIX, 194, Magliabecchiana)
This is mentioned by Gelli. It is dated 1592, and Cesare declares himself a relative (possibly a nephew) of Marcantoio Pagano, who published his treatise in 1553.
This is a weird one. It is in a good state of conservation, written in a beautifully clear hand and in a mostly not too obtuse Italian. The who thing was quite pricey to scan so I ordered the first 1/3 (which came to over 150 pages) to have a look and never followed up the next 2/3 as it is 99% irrelevant to the practical study of fencing. Instead it is literally stuffed with classical references but also observations about the natural world and sundry other digressions; there are no techniques and only scattered pieces of very general fencing advice.
|Yes||Late 1500s or early 1600s||Add. Ms. 23223||British Library||This is listed by Castle, and is catalogued as 17th Century but the content itself seems more consistent with 16th century treatises. A black and white, easily readable, scan is inexpensive from the BL. It is handwritten in Italian, no illustrations, in two separate hands which are both fairly easy to read, although some of the pages are damaged and it is reasonable brief (the scan is 96 pages including blanks). Interestingly it uses the same guard nomenclature as Altoni with high, medium and low guards, and primarily discusses the single sword, sword and dagger, sword and cape and sword and rotella. The way it is organised is unusual, in that rather than relegating the rotella to a section of its own like most comparable treatises, it has a section on say the high guard, then explains how this applies to the single sword, sword and dagger, sword and cape and sword and rotella. It also very briefly mentions polearms, the spadone and two swords, which makes a nice round 10 Italian sources (alone) that includes two swords (Manciolino, Marozzo, Altoni, Agrippa, Di Grassi, Lovino, Lucino, Palladini, Docciolini, and this one). It is anonymous and it contains no overt contextual references (on an initial scan) to tie it down temporally or geographically. My gut feeling however is that it is Tuscan and late 16th century. In addition to guard nomenclature, it appears to have further commonalities with Altoni (for example it mentions the “zagaglia” as a pole weapon, which does not appear in any other known treatises except Altoni). The language appears quite “modern” and there are no glaring dialectal traits on an initial reading, but not inconsistent with a Tuscan/Central Italian origin…|
|Yes||Fechtbuch des einfachen Rapiers / Fechtbuch in Rapier und Dolchen||1611||Mss. germ. qu. 1190/1191||Hans Wilhelm Schöffer von Dietz||Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin|| (Single rapier, dated 1611. Many ink drawings. Belonged to Erasmus von Starhemberg, who owned another well-known Fechtbuch.)
Ms. germ. qu. 1190, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
(Another book by the same master, this one on rapier & dagger)
Ms. germ. qu. 1191, Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
|Yes||Nueva ciencia y filosofía de la destreza de las armas||1625||Mss/9038||Luis Pacheco de Narváez||Biblioteca Nacional de Espana||Manuscript of Nueva Ciencia, which wasn't published until 1672.|
|Yes||late 1600s||49-III-6(1)||Biblioteca da Ajuda|| Anonymous work contained in a little known manuscript of the Biblioteca da Ajuda. A vision of the Destreza in Portugal in the XVII century with elements from the Verdadera Destreza and from the ordinary or Vulgar. 64 feridas (techniques) explained with their counter-techniques. Some of them were previously unknown, like the parafusada or the wound of the Duke of Alba. With comments and glosses. Accessible language although basic knowledge of Destreza is necessary.
This seldom known work, which is kept at the Biblioteca da Ajuda as 49 -III- 6, is bound in a book together with the previously unpublished Manuscrito da Espada, also in our catalogue.
This is a re-interpretation of Pacheco's posthumous work, Nueva Ciencia. Beyond completing it with missing information, such as the lost engravings not present in the published version of Pacheco's book, the author took an eminently practical approach, didactic in purpose, dividing the book in «Liçoes» (Lessons), each preceded with an illustrative engraving, introducing progressively new concepts, from theoretical geometric elements to steps and footwork, to techniques such as the atalho or the movement of conclusion. This approach makes this book one of the best options when looking for a whole, comprehensive Destreza textbook.
|No||Compendio y Philosophia y Dztreza de las Armas||1625||Octavio Ferrara||Traced by Archibald Corble in the early 20th century to create the MS R4-B274.|
|Yes||late 1600s||M 1-3-3||Biblioteca de la Fundación Lazaro Galdiano|| While working on a forthcoming publication on Italian and Spanish fencing, the group led by Luca Cecchinato came upon a digitized copy of a rare manuscript held in Madrid in the Biblioteca de la Fundación Lazaro Galdiano. It dates from the end of the 17th century and includes several essays on previously published Destreza works as well as a commentary on the Nueva Ciencia of Pacheco de Narváez. It also contains almost all of the plates not published in the Nueva Ciencia, which have long been sought. This is a very important announcement for everyone interested in primary Destreza sources.
Luca Cecchinato, Manuel Valle, Charles Blair
|No||17th or 18th century||Add. Ms. 17533||H. A. V.||British Library|| THREE treatises on the art of Fencing, as taught by Signor Salvator and Signor Moman, by H. A. V.; with illustrations in Indian ink. Paper, XVIIIth cent. Folio.
(Egerton Castle mentions that the source above is in German, based on Salvator Fabris. He says it's 17th century, not 18th.)
|Yes||Talhoffer||1705-1758||MS Hz.014||Hans Talhoffer||Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg||http://www.hammaborg.de/en/transkriptionen/talhoffer_coburg/index.php|
|No||Abregé de l'exercice des armes[. Necéssaire à la jeunesse de savoir, pour pouvoir se deffendre avec son espée]||1767||MS E.1939.65.459||G. Belfin|| RL Scott
Luxembourg (place of manufacture)
| Paper, vellum|
Manuscript entitled, 'Abrege De L'Exercice Des Armes', by G Belfin.
Published Luxembourg, 1767.
Subject classification: Fencing - French, 18th century. Bookplate with coat of arms
|No||Traite Des Armes||1797||MS E.1939.65.489||Theophile-Malo Corret de La Tour D'Auvergne||RL Scott|| Manuscript by author, 'Traite Des Armes', by Theophile-Malo Corret De La Tour D'Auvergne.|
Subject classification: Fencing - French, 18th century NB letter inside giving history of this MS, Rouen, 1900 Also typed paragraph about the book
|No||18th century||Ms. Dresd. 469||Dominique Quenin, Maitre d'Armes de S.M.I.||SLUB||84 figures of fencers. Watercolor illustrations. 18th century, quarto, 48 folios. (Probably smallsword, but impossible to tell.)|
|No||18th century||Ms. Dresd. 491||SLUB||Jeux d'Epee en figures. ("Game of the Sword, Illustrated.") Painted illustrations. 18th century, 25 folios.|
The Manuscript Morgue is for manuscripts that seem to have existed at one time, but for which we currently have no solid information or leads.
|No||Die Art und Weise, anzugreifen und zu verteidigen (?)||ca. 1295||Francesco Giacomo Guglielmo and Filippo Del Serpente||Language and state of existence unknown.|
|No||Fior di Battaglia||Early 15th century||Ms. 84||Fiore de'i Liberi||Biblioteca Estense||Last seen 1508|
|No||Fior di Battaglia||Early 15th century||Ms. 110||Fiore de'i Liberi||Biblioteca Estense||Last seen 1508|
|No||1434||Filippo di Bartolomeo Dardi||Lost|
|No||1515||???||J. Schwerer||Formerly Ortenburg'sche Bibliothek zu Tambach|| An dieser Stelle hätte eigentlich eine bisher der Forschung nicht näher bekannt gewordene Handschrift(?) vorgestellt werden sollen. Es handelt sich hierbei um "Hans Lichtenauers bekannte Fechtkunst. Papier: fol. Hie hebt sich an die Zetl der Ritterlichen kunst des Fechtenns datum augspurgk, den zehenden tag des monatz februarij 1515. J. Schwerer." HILS' nicht weiter nachprüfbaren Angaben zufolge, soll auch in ihr Otts Lehre verzeichnet sein.
1842 catalog: 
|No||Opera de Scherma||1532||Guido Antonio di Luca||Lost|
|No||Rast Fechtbuch||ca. 1549||Antonius Rast||Purchased at auction by Paulus Hector Mair, used to create the Reichstadt Nr. 82 in 1553.|
|No||1556||Johannes Bierchenauwer (?)|| 19th century facsimile possibly exists
|No||1557||Johannes Liechtenauer et al.||Stadtarchiv Biel|| In 1968, there was an exhibition at the Schweizerische Turn- und Sportmuseum in Basel on fencing in art. It included a manuscript from 1557 described as containing the teachings of Liechtenauer, which was contributed by the Stadtarchiv Biel. This manuscript is not listed in any of the fencing manual catalogs, and the description given in the article matches no manuscript that we're aware of.
When Jens Kleinau pointed this article out, Jurg Gassman and I (but more him) began making inquiries; after several weeks and speaking to every institution that might possibly have information about this (and tracking down one of about ten remaining copies of the exhibition publication), we've found nothing but dead ends.
|No||Kunst des Fechtens||1561||Joachim Meyer||Lost as of the mid 20th century.|
|No||Cabinet d'escrime de l'espee et poingnardt||1585||Captain Peloquin||Source for MS KB.73.J.39|