Treaty of France's 'foremost 15th century engineer' for sale

French auctioneer will be holding a sale of antique militaria including historic manuscripts, scheduled for March 3.

Among the prized collectibles on offer is a copy of the Treaty of Fortification, a full-bound manuscript of 386 pages thought to have been authored by Vauban.

The unique book, likely to have been written between 1703 and 1707, also contains 31 watercolour plates.

Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban (1633-1707), commonly referred to as Vauban, was a Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age.

Between 1667 and the year of his death, Vauban upgraded the defense fortifications of around 300 cities in his native France.

Traité de fortification, estimated at €2,000-3,000

There are apparently several known copies of this particular work in various libraries - in Vincennes, Germany and Luxembourg - and private collections.

According to, nobody is sure how many copies of the work were originally distributed - and there is no actual proof that Vauban really wrote this book.

It may otherwise have been written by Joseph Sauveur (1653-1716), the noted French mathematician, physicist and member of Academy of Sciences.

Nevertheless, this rare and fascinating document of France's militarial past carries an estimate of €2,000-3,000.'s sale takes place at the Coutau Bergarie auction house in Paris, owned by Drouot.



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