4to (220 x 172 mm). , 29, [1 blank] pp. Double column. 44 engraved plates, the first folding and unnumbered, the rest numbered 1-43, containing birds-eye plans of fortiifed towns. Soiling to title, light narrow dampstain to text and upper margins of first few plates. Contemporary English blind panelled Cambridge-style calf (upper cover detached, lower joint weak). Provenance: Martine-Marie-Pol de Béhague, comtesse de Béarn (1870-1939), by descent to her nephew, Hubert de Ganay, and thence to his heirs; bookplate with initials H H.***
First Edition of an illustrated treatise on fortified towns by a Huguenot refugee, man of letters and lexicographer. A native of Languedoc, Boyer fled France for the Netherlands after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. “In 1687 poverty may have obliged Boyer to serve briefly in the army of the Dutch republic, as did many other Huguenots at the time. The experience, if it took place, may have contributed to his later close technical interest in things military which, he claimed in 1696, was based partly on what he had seen of some of the battlefields of Flanders” (Oxford DNB).
Following a brief introduction to the principles and terminology of military architecture, displayed in the folding plate, the text contains detailed descriptions of each of the towns, illustrated in the attractive, unsigned engravings. Mainly French and Belgian, they also include cities in Germany and Italy. ESTC T 112446 (13 US locations). Item #4057h