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Cluny Fechtbuch (Cl. 23842)
|MS Cl. 23842, Musée national du Moyen Âge
|Early New High German
|Paper, with a contemporary wood and
|212 folia (158 mm × 218 mm)
|Double-sided; one illustration per side,
with occasional text
|Museum information page
|Digital scans (450x625)
The Cluny Fechtbuch (MS Cl. 23842; sometimes called the Paris Fechtbuch) is a German fencing manual created in the last quarter of the 15th century. The original currently rests in the holdings of the Musée national du Moyen Âge in Paris, France. This manuscript is a compilation work; it seems to consist of three distinct sections, illustrated by at least two different artists, and several pages have been shuffled since it was created.
The first section consists of mounted and foot combat after the style of Johannes Liechtenauer, while the second section covers various forms of judicial combat. This material seems to be connected in some way to the 15th century writings of Paulus Kal and Peter Falkner, and the 16th century works of Jörg Wilhalm and Hans Medel, but the nature of these connections is not currently understood. The third section is a fragment of the Gladiatoria treatise.
The Cl. 23842 seems to have much in common with the Wolfenbüttel Picture Book (Codex Guelf 78.2 August 2º), which may also have been a source, and like that manuscript, it is generally lacking descriptive text. Much of the material coheres closely to the written (and generally unillustrated) treatises of various masters of the Liechtenauer tradition. Given the dating and the connections to Peter Falkner in the text and the artwork, it is tempting to associate it with his other works and speculate that it was an unfinished draft of a compendium of fencing manuals, and that text was planned to be added to the blank upper area of each page.
The known provenance of the Cl. 23842 is:
- Created no earlier than the 1480s based on the watermarks on the paper, and before the 1520s due to the connection to Jörg Wilhalm.
- pre-1800s-1980s - in the Fürstenberg library at the castle at Donaueschingen. Possibly acquired by Graf Wolfgang von Fürstenberg (1465-1509), the founder of the library. Listed as MS 862 in a Fürstliche Fürstenbergische Hofbibliothek catalogue in the 1800s and stamped by the library at each end (sold privately, 1980s).
- 1980s-2005 - the private collection of Ian Woodner (1903-1990) of New York (sold London, Sotheby's, 2008)
- 2008 - purchased by the Musée national du Moyen Âge.
|1r - 11v
|12r - 57v
|Illustrations of long sword pieces
|58r - 59v
|60r - 69v
|Illustrations of messer pieces
|70r - 71v
|72r - 87v
|Illustrations of dagger pieces
|88r - 94v
|95r - 114v
|Illustrations of grappling pieces
|115r - 117v
|118r - 131v
|Illustrations of sword and buckler pieces
|132r - 133r
|133v - 146r
|Illustrations of mounted fencing pieces
|146v - 148r
|Illustrations of mounted vs. foot pieces
|149r - 178v
|Illustrations of armored spear and short sword pieces
|180r - 181v, 187r
|Illustrations of long shield pieces
|183r - 186v, 187v - 189r
|Illustrations of pole weapons pieces
|190r - 191v
|Illustrations of spear pieces
|192r - 193v
|Illustration of piece with curved daggers
|Illustration of a duel between a man and a woman
|195r - 212v
|Illustrations of short sword in armor from the Gladiatoria group
|213r - 223v
Ff 12 - 57v
The following is a list of publications containing scans, transcriptions, and translations relevant to this article, as well as published peer-reviewed research.
- See Sotheby's description on Talk page.
- Based on the caption "Here begin Peter's pieces: the sword-taking with counters and grappling. This is painted according to the Record, or according to the Running Through [found in] the Record." on folio 47r. Compare with the piece on f 15r of Falkner's work.
Copyright and License Summary
For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.
|Musée national du Moyen Âge
|la Réunion des Musées nationaux
|Index:Cluny Fechtbuch (Cl. 23842)