FRIAS, Simon de
Tratado Elemental de la Destreza del Sable
Mexico: Imprenta de Arizpe, 1809. Small 4to. 7 7/8 x 5 3/4 inches. 13 engraved plates (2 folding).
Contemporary Mexican sheep, flat spine ruled in gilt, morocco lettering piece (minor wear to head and tail of spine)
The first illustrated work on fencing published in Mexico.
The Mexican author was a master of arms in New Spain. Dicc. Porrúa notes that his birth and death dates are unknown, but he is known to have taught self defense by 1787. Of engraver Manuel Aráoz, Mathes comments: "Manuel Aráoz, instructor in engraving, produced thirteen excellent plates of fencing and fighting maneuvers using the saber for Simón de Frías, Tratado elemental de la destreza del sable, Imprenta de Arizpe. The artist, who signs his name P. Patiño or P.P., may be sculptor and artist Pedro Patiño Ixtolinque."
The earliest book on any form of fencing published in Mexico, the work is a thorough guide to the formal sport of fencing with sabers, complete with accurate, detailed illustrations. The author includes descriptions of various attacks, defenses, proper foot work, posture, and equipment, including detailed descriptions of the fencing sword.
Leguina 65; Medina 10252; Palau 95016; Thimm, p. 108; Pardoel 989; Garritz 362.