Alte Armatur und Ringkunst (Thalhofer)

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An illustrated manuscript (paper; 150 folia; 30 x 21 cm) by Hans Talhoffer, internally dated to 1459 (fol. 103v), kept in the Danish Royal Library (Det Kongelige Bibliotek), Copenhagen, with the signature Thott 290 2º (after its former owner Otto Thott). The ms. contains a variety of content, most notably fencing manual [Fechtbuch] and a copy of the Bellifortis by w:Konrad Kyeser. The title Alte Armatur und Ringkunst is taken from the handwritten inset in 18th-century German Kurrent, "Maister Hanns Talhofers alte teutsche Armatur und Ringkunst". The ms. was in the possession of Johann Burchard May in the early 18th century; it was acquired by Thott at some point after 1754, and passed to the Royal Library after Tott's death, in 1785.

The ms. is closely related to:

  • Königseggwald, Gräfliche Bibliothek-, Cod. XIX 17-3, dated c. 1455–1459
  • Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum KK 5342B (formerly P 5342B, still earlier Ambras 50), an early copy of XIX 17-3, dated c. 1480–1500.

The Vienna ms. (KK 5342B) was published as facsimile by Gustav Hergsell, under the title "Talhoffers Fechtbuch (Ambraser Codex) aus dem Jahre 1459" (Prague 1889). KK 5342B was formerly bound with a Latin Bellifortis (KK 5342A).

Wikimedia Commons currently has two versions of the ms.:

Manuscript contents (following Rainer Leng, Katalog der deutschsprachigen illustrierten Handschriften des Mittelalters (2008) [1]:

  • Fol. 1r - 11v: Hans Thalhoffer: Fechtbuch Teil 1 (fencing manual, part 1)
  • Fol. 12r - 15r: Bilderkatalog Jandszenen, Armbustschießen, Luftmatratze, zerlegbarer Wagen, illustrierte Spruchweisheiten, Schwimmhilfen, Kriegsgerät (various illustrations: hunting scnenes, crossbow shooting, air mattres, foldable cart, illustred sayings, swimming aids, military engines]
  • Fol. 15v - 48v: Konrad Kyeser: Bellifortis (excerpts of the seven-chapter recension, close German translation of the Latin verse version)
  • Fol. 49r - 139r: Hans Thalhoffer: Fechtbuch Teil 2 (fencing manual, part 2)
  • 140v - 142v: Traktat über die inneren Organe des Menschen, evtl. 'Liber nonus ad Almansorum'?, deutsch (treatise on the human internal organs)
  • 142v - 148v: Planetenkinderlehre (astrological verses)
  • 149v - 150r: Hebräisches Alphabet mit Lautumschrift (Hebrew alphabet with transcription)
  • 150v: Algebraische Zahlenreihen, Münztabelle (series of Arabic numerals, coin tables)