The Gentleman's Stable Directory or Modern System of Farriery. Comprehending All the most valuable Prescriptions and approved Remedies. interspersed with Occasional References to the dangerous and almost obsolete practice of Gibson, Bracken, Bartlet, Osmer, and others; also particular Directions for Buying, Selling, Feeding, Bleeding, Purging, and getting into Condition for the Chase; with experimental Remarks upon the Managment of Draft Horses, their Blemishes and Defects. To which is now added A Supplement containing Practical Observations upon Thorm Wounds, Punctured Tendond, and Ligamentary Lameness. With Ample Instructions for their Treatment and Cure; Illustrated by a Recital of Cases, including a Variety of Useful Remarks. With a Successful Method of treating the Canine Species, in that destructive Disease called The Distemper. - William Taplin 1791 - G. G. J. and J. Robinsons, London - The Tenth Edition, Considerably Enlarged and Carefully Corrected. Two volumes in fine contemporary bindings, volume I with an engraved portrait of Taplin. The second volume contains "Experimental Remarks upon Breeding, Breaking, Shoeing, Stabling, Exercise, and Rowelling. To which are added, particular Instructions for the General Management of Hunters and Road Horses; with Concluding Observations upon the present State of the Turf".

During the latter part of the eighteenth century there appears to have been a considerable demand for veterinary knowledge, and William Taplin (d.1807), part of a group of British surgeons who switched to become veterinarians, sailed on this tide into a fortune by selling medicine for horses by agencies all over the kingdom and advertising them by means of his books.
  Although Taplin was disliked by his peers (he is described by Sir Frederick Smith, in his comprehensive work on early veterinary literature, as being … egotistical, bombastic, … unscrupulous … and by others in equally negative descriptions) his books were popular in Great Britain and America.

Interestingly Taiplin dedicates this work to another egotistical gentleman, Sir John Lade, Bart (1759-1838) a prominent and rather scandalous member of Regency society, notable as an owner and breeder of racehorses, and as an accomplished driver. He discovered and owned Medley, a grey horse which was one of the first thoroughbreds to be imported into America, and, according to
Thoroughbred Heritage, ‘the most important horse of the last quarter of the eighteenth century’. His harlequin colours were a familiar sight at races throughout the British Isles.

Nicknamed "Jehu" as a driver, Lade was a leading light, and one of the founding members, of the
Four-Horse Club, or Four in Hand Club [Gronow]. His slapdash style of dressing gave rise to the simple knot for which the Club is remembered. He himself famously drove a team of six greys, except when he sat up with the Prince Regent (George IV) in place of the latter's coachman, driving six matched bays on the road from Brighton to London. George IV was later to bail Sir John out of debtors prison for gambling debts.

References: CSU Special Collections. Sir Frederick Smith -
The Early History of Veterinary Literature. Loder, Bibliography of Horse Racing, 785., portraits, Medley. Gronow, Captain Gronow's Last Recollections, Section 8. Fred Bullock, Notes on the Early Hitory of the Vetinary Surgeon in England - Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1929.

Provenance: Contemporary bookplates of Lieut. General Christopher Jeaffreson of Dullingham [1761-1824]

Two octavo volumes (binding size 21.5x13.6cm), pp. [2] xxiv 519 [3]; [2] viii 420 [2]. Bound with the half-titles.
  Bound in near contemporary tree calf, the covers with a gilt single fillet border. Smooth spines divided into six panels by gilt pallets, lettered in the second panel on a red goatskin label and numbered in the fourth on a green label, the others tooled with an alternating urn beneath a weeping branch and a medallion and with small medallions in the corners, the edges of the boards hatched in gilt, plain endpapers, yellow edges.   Condition: Very good, there is a small hole in p.2 in vol.1, without loss of text. There are ink manuscript notes on pp. 36 and 37 in vol.1, which have been cropped at the margins. Occasional minor dust soiling and a few spots, but a very good copy in a handsome binding.   Ref: 102376   Price: HK$ 7,500