Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di messer Antonio Scaino da Salò, diviso in Tre Parti. Con due Tavole, l’una de’ Capitoli, l’altra delle cose piu notabili, che in esso si contengono…. Antonio SCAINO.
Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di messer Antonio Scaino da Salò, diviso in Tre Parti. Con due Tavole, l’una de’ Capitoli, l’altra delle cose piu notabili, che in esso si contengono…
Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di messer Antonio Scaino da Salò, diviso in Tre Parti. Con due Tavole, l’una de’ Capitoli, l’altra delle cose piu notabili, che in esso si contengono…

First Book on Tennis
“Fort Rare”-Brunet

Trattato del Giuoco della Palla di messer Antonio Scaino da Salò, diviso in Tre Parti. Con due Tavole, l’una de’ Capitoli, l’altra delle cose piu notabili, che in esso si contengono…

“Trattato” on title within a cartouche of scrollwork, woodcut printer’s device on title, six double-page woodcuts (collation as in Mortimer), & another woodcut printer’s device on verso of final leaf. 16 p.l., 315, [3] pp. Small 8vo, 18th-cent. Italian vellum over boards (a bit of browning), spine lettered in gilt. Venice: G. Giolito, 1555.

First edition of the earliest work on the game of tennis; this is a fine copy of a most uncommon book. In this work, Scaino not only describes the game but, for the first time, codifies the rules, sets the standard court sizes, discusses proper etiquette, and establishes a scoring system. He uses the terms “a due” and “vantaggio” from which our now familiar terms “deuce” and “advantage” are derived.

Tennis was already an extremely popular game in the 16th century, played by the kings of England and France. The rules for different versions of the game and their various interpretations often led to arguments. It was apparently after one such discussion with his patron Alfonso II d’Este, the final Duke of Ferrara, that Scaino (1524-1612), decided to write the present book which formalized and detailed the rules of the game.

Scaino describes the various forms of tennis which were being played at that time, whether the ball was solid or air-filled, whether the ball was hit with the hand or a racket, etc.

The excellent plates depict equipment and the layout of courts.

Fine copy. Duplicate stamp of the Biblioteca Vittore Emanuele and the bookplate of Donald and Mary Hyde. Preserved in a black morocco-backed slipcase.

❧ Brunet V, 178 & Supplement II, 606–“fort rare.” Mortimer 465.

Price: $45,000.00

Item ID: 6134

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