La Pyrotechnie de Hanzelet Lorraine ou sont representez les plus rares &
plus appreuuez secrets des machines & des feux artificiels ...
Pont-a-Mousson: I. & Gaspard Bernard, 1630.
Appier's La Pyrotechnie greatly influenced succeeding French and English
texts on fireworks.
Photograph 2a: Title-page.
Photograph 2b: A naval battle recreated in fireworks.
Jean Appier-Hanzelet La Pyrotechnie de Hanzelet Lorra in ou sont representez les plus rares & plus
assieger secrets des machines and des feux artificiels...
Pont-a-Mousson: Jean & Gaspar Bernard, 1630.
Appier had previously published Recueil de Plusiers Machines
Militaires, et feux Artificials, pour la Guerre
s Recreation (Pont-a-Mousson, 1620), in collaboration with Francois
Thybourel, a self-styled "Maistre Chyrurgien." It is to that volume
that Francis Malthus referred in the preface to his 1629 English edition
of A Treatise of Artificial Fire-vrorkes [at
left]. Following a bitter dispute with Thybourel concerning the order of
names on the
title-page of A description of many military machines,
and artificial fireworksfor war and recreation
[the first edition was printed with two variant title-pages], Appier made
certain that there would be no doubts about the authorship of The Pyrotechnics
of Hanzelet Lorraine where are described the most
rare and most learned secrets of machines and
of fireworks when it was issued one decade later.
Most of the text is cast in the form of a dialogue between a General and
a Captain, with the reader benefiting from the Captain's sage advice; a
literary device later used by Galileo in his Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi
del mondo (Florence, 1632). Even though Appier introduced much new
material on rockets, stars and other fireworks, such as
squibs and crackers, in The Pyrotechnics, he also reused many of
the engravings as well as some text from his earlier volume on military
machines and fireworks.
Two copies of La Pyrotechnie are on display. The vellum bound Dupee
Collection copy [above] is open to the engraved title-page with its bombs,
cannons, firearrows, grenades, rockets and other "ruses de guerre"
as well as the arms of Lorraine and the motto "War and Art." The
second copy, from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection [below], is open
to an aquatic fireworks display. On the facing page,
Appier's description of this nautical event notes that at the conclusion
you may set off one or two hundred paper firecrackers "and the spectators
will believe by the tintamarre of these petards that everything is broken
up or burnt."