Brown University Library

Collado, Luys

Prattica Manuale dell"Artiglieria ... di Fuochi Artificiali; e di varij secreti ...
Milan: Filippo Ghisolfi and Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1641.

The eleventh chapter in this influential artillery manual deals with rockets and other pyrotechnic displays, and features a wood-cut of a "girandole" - a thick walled tube filled with a slow buming composition and drilled with many angled holes each of which contains a small rocket.


Photograph 6a: Title-page.

Photograph 6b: Illustration of a girandole.


Luys Collado
Practica manuale dell 'arteglieria, opera historica, politica e militaire ... [&] di fuochi artificiali
Milan: Filippo Ghisolfi & ad instanza di Gio. Battiata Bidelli, 1641.

The first edition of Collado's Practical manual on artillery ... [and] of artificialfires was published in Italian at Venice in 1586, a copy of that edition is in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection. A second edition, written in his native Spanish, was published at Milan in 1592. This manual was subsequently translated back into Italian for editions printed at Milan in 1601 [Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection] and 1641 [Dupee Fireworks Collection, shown above]. Even though the dedicatees are different, the text has been reset and the layout of the plates altered, the Italian editions of 1606 and 1641 are virtually identical in content.

Of the seven treatises in this artillery manual only one contains material pertaining to recreational fireworks. Chapter 11 of the sixth treatise is entitled "Of ... fires which can be adapted for use in times of festivity." The volume is to woodcuts of vertical and horizontal Catherine wheels and, on the facing page, a girandole-a thick walled tube filled with a slow burning gunpowder and drilled with many angled holes each of which contains a small rocket.

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