REITZENSTEIN, Wolf Ehrenfried von.

Der Vollkommene Pferde-Kenners. [The Complete Horse-Guide].


Der Vollkommene Pferde-Kenners. [The Complete Horse-Guide].

Uffenheim, Joh. Simon Meyer (printer), 1764.

In stock

Der Vollkommene Pferde-Kenners. [The Complete Horse-Guide].


A German Horse Manual with a Jewish-Jargon-dictionary supplement. ‘Rare first edition of this original and curious work on horsemanship’ (Johan Dejager, Great Books on Horsemanship).

The first part of this book is a comprehensive equestrian and veterinary manual. Pages [17]-[20] list a curious bibliography of books on horsemanship, while the manual itself contains guidance on buying horses, on training and dressage, saddles, various bits and mouth-pieces and horse shoeing. The second part of the book deals with horse medicine and understanding prescriptions.

The final part of the work is the most unusual: it is a supplement comprising a 36-page Hebrew/Yiddish dictionary with an alphabetic index of over 1,500 terms, transliterated into Gothic letters and with German translations. This is followed by five sample dialogues between Jewish horse-traders in their distinct jargon.

Since their normal vernacular of Yiddish could be understood by their German speaking non-Jewish competitors, the Jewish dealers developed a secret trade dialect heavily laced with Hebrew, which prevented non-Jews from understanding them. The efforts of non-Jewish horsemen to try and penetrate this newly-erected linguistic barrier are demonstrated by a close examination of the present volume.

The end of this volume is lavished with detailed illustrated plates. The first plate depicts the ideal horse, with detailed anatomy of its open mouth; the next plates show horse breeds and are followed by illustrations of dressage and various pieces of equipment. The frontispiece, by A. Hoffer after A.D. Steingruber, depicts the Residenzschloss at Ansbach.


First edition. Two parts in 1 vol. 4to (21.5 x 17.3 cm). pp. [24], 176, [16], 176, [52] pp. Engraved frontispiece and 28 engraved plates, some folding. Modern half-vellum boards.


Lipperheide 2929 (ed. 1780), Dejager 267.


Stock ID: 95270