As far as we know, Johan Dejager’s collection of ancient books on horses is the most beautiful in the hands of a private collector. Those belonging to companies are not included. To judge, be convinced, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary (what the World Library of Horse would be delighted to know) it is enough to just bend over and open the 784 pages (230 x 320 mm, 150g paper) of “Horsemanship”!
Printed in Slovenia by Koninlijke Brill-Hes & De Graaf, in hardcover, weighing 5.2 kg. A beautiful baby, fruit of the collector’s immoderate passion for his library: Bibliotheca Hippologica.
A fifteen-year search and more than 300 works cataloged, dissected, moving through centuries, then by countries: France (104 titles), Germany (97), Italy (90), England (37), Spain and Portugal (23), Netherlands (14). The descriptions of the works are accurate as well as the bibliographic notes and biographies of the authors.
Johan Dejager signs the introduction to his work. It is followed by four essays signed by specialists. Elisabetta Deriu analyzes equestrian knowledge in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Bernard Clerc extends the works of equine veterinary medicine of the centuries XVII and XVIII; Thierry d´Erceville is interested in the development of the military cavalry of the 17th and 18th centuries; and finally, Tim Clayton portrays the horseman in painting, drawing and engraving with the most prominent artists of the time.
Johan Dejager has gladly accepted that the World Horse Library take advantage of this extraordinary wealth and work. “My values are sharing, transmitting knowledge and share the passion”. And looking back, four years after posting “Horsemanship”: “What satisfies me the most is that today the catalog of my collection is considered by professionals in the field as a reference when they review exceptional books, during sales or even in private transactions, I think of this as having achieved the goal that I had set for myself”.