Saturday, January 23, 2016

Collection SS2016: L'Instruction du Roy

"The King’s Instruction in the Exercise of Horse Riding" was the title given to a 17th-century work by Antoine de Pluvinel, equerry to Louis XIII, King of France and Navarre.  Pluvinel understood that when training a horse, "kindness is more effective than severity".  Under his care, the animal becomes a responsive, sentient being. 

Pluvinel founded an academy in Paris and wrote his manual (illustrated with superb etchings by Crispin de Pas) in the form of an interview with the young King.   A series of plates at the end of the volume illustrates the particular types of bit recommended for use by the author. 

Henri d’Origny’s design pairs the steel mouthpieces with braided fabric reins: the twists and curves form a pattern offset by scrolling fronds, echoing the tastes and fashions of Pluvinel’s day.

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