The art of fighting under glass: Review of museum exhibitions displaying fight books, 1968-2017

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Abstract

A growing body of research on fight books and historical European martial arts has appeared in academic circles over the last fifteen years. It has also broken through the doors of patrimonial institutions. From curiosities in exhibitions about knighthood, to dedicated temporary exhibitions about historical European martial arts, the fight books have received more and more attention from museum professionals. This article attempts to present an exhaustive list of fight books displayed in museum exhibitions over the last fifty years. It then proposes a critical view about how and why they were displayed from the perspective of the curators, based on a review of the exhibition catalogues.

All primary sources are listed in the appendices, as well as the different exhibition catalogues in appendices. Below are included only the secondary literature quoted in the article.

Bauer, Matthias Johannes, ‘Der Allten Fechter gründtliche Kunst’ - Das Frankfurter oder Egenolffsche Fechtbuch: Untersuchung und Edition (München: Utz, 2016).

Boffa, Sergio, Les Manuels de Combat (“Fechtbücher” et “Ringbücher”), Typologie des sources du Moyen Âge occidental 87 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014).

Burkart, Eric, ‘Limits of Understanding in the Study of Lost Martial Arts. Epistemological Reflections on the Mediality of Historical Records of Technique and the Status of Modern (Re-) Constructions’, Acta Periodica Duellatorum 4/2 (2016), pp. 5-30.

Gotti, Roberto, Rizzante, Riccardo, and Jaquet, Daniel, eds, Masquerade. Elegance and extravagance in ancient fencing masks (Botticino: Gairethinx, 2017).

Hils, Hans-Peter, ‘Die Handschriften des oberdeutschen Fechtmeisters Hans Talhoffer’, Codices Manuscripti 9/3 (1983), pp. 97-121.

Jacobs, Friedrich and Ukert, Ferdinand August, Beitrag zur ältern Liteteratur oder Merkwürdigkeiten der Herzoglichen öffentlichen Bibliothek zu Gotha (Leipzig : Dyk’sche, 1838).

Jaquet, Daniel, Karin Verelst, and Timothy Dawson, eds., Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books: Transmission and Tradition of Martial Arts in Europe (14th-17th Centuries), History of Warfare 112 (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016).

Jaser, Christian, ‘Ernst und Schimpf - Fechten als Teil städtlicher Gewalt- und Sportkultur’, in Agon und Distinktion. Soziale Räume des Zweikampfs zwischen Mittelalter und Neuzeit, ed. by Uwe Israel and Christian Jaser (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2016), pp. 221-42.

Krause, Stefan and Kaindel, Christoph, ‘Das Grosse Kartenspiel des Meister E.S. - Frühe gedruckte Fechtdarstellung’, Zeitschrift für historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde 55/1 (2009), pp. 1-18.

Lawrence, David R., The Complete Soldier: Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England, 1603-1645, History of Warfare 53, volume 112 (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2009)

Loeffelholz von Colberg, Wilhelm, Oettingen-Wallersteinsche Sammlung in Maihingen - Verzeichnis der neuzeitlichen Handschriften, manuscript (Maihingen : s.l., 1860). Online:: < urn:nbn:de:bvb:384-uba002501-9> (accessed 20.12.2017).

Pardoel, Henk, Fencing: A Bibliography (Amsterdam: Multi-M/IT Publishing, 2005).

Sacken, Eduard, Die k.k. Ambraser-Sammlung (Wien:Braumüller, 1855).

Thimm, Carl A., A complete bibliography of fencing & duelling, as practised by all European nations from the middle ages to the present day (London and New York: John Lane, 1896).

Welle, Rainer, ‘Talhofer, Hans’, in: Das wissensvermittelnde Schrifttum im 15. Jahrhundert, ed. by Wolfgang Aschnitz, Deutsches Literatur Lexicon 7 (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2015), col. 428-34.

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