A Beautiful Spanish Handwriting Manual
Arte de Escribir por Reglas y sin Muestras, establecido de Orden superior en los Reales Sitios de San Ildefonso y Valsain despues de haberse experimentado en ambos la utilidad de su enseñanza, y sus ventajas respecto del Metodo usado hasta ahora en las escuelas de primeras Letras.
53 fine plates on 30 sheets. 2 p.l., xxxix, 99,  pp. 4to, cont. Spanish green morocco, cover with gilt fillets round sides, flat spine gilt, red morocco lettering piece on spine, characteristic Spanish marbled endpapers, a.e.g. [Madrid: en la Imprenta Real de la Gazeta, 1781].
First edition — and a superb copy in contemporary Spanish green morocco — of one of the most beautiful and influential of the Spanish writing books; this work and that of Palomares, published in 1776, made Spain an 18th-century center for calligraphy and fine handwriting.
The calligraphic world of later eighteenth-century Spain was formed by the Palomaristas and the Anduagistas, two sides of a long-contested debate. Those supporting Palomares argued that the establishment of rules in order to make correct letter forms — a more efficient national script — was unnecessary because the plates contained in his book were sufficient to explain the process. On the other hand, Anduaga (1751-1822), felt that a full understanding of the rules was more important than any calligraphic samples. He was the first to introduce English letter forms into Spain, which caused further controversy.
A fine and large copy, elegantly bound. This was a very popular text, with later editions and reworkings in 1791, 1793, 1795, 1805, and 1822.
❧ Becker, The Practice of Letters: the Hofer Collection of Writing Manuals 1514-1800, 143. Bonacini 75. Cotarelo y Mori, Diccionario Biográfico y Bibligráfico de los Calígrafos Españoles, I, p. 101. Palau 12350–“De esta primera edición no hemos visto ejemplar.“ Salva 2197.
Item ID: 3686