[PRINTING] Elementarnyi kurs tekhniki nabornogo dela [i.e. Elementary Course of Typesetting Technique]Osetskii, A., Mikhailov, I. Petrograd: Izd. Soiuza i Sektsii Poligraficheskikh Proizvodstv, 1920. 106 pp.: ill. 20,5x14 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Tear of spine, covers detached from block, some soiling of wrappers, otherwise very good. Signed by authors to Vasily Desnitsky (1878-1958), Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet literary historian. Since 1920, he was non-partisan despite joining a group of Red professors. In 1922, he was on the list for the expulsion of the intelligentsia from Russia by "philosopher's steamers", but one of the prominent Bolsheviks stood up for him. In December 1922, he was temporarily exiled to the Vyatka province for anti-Soviet activities. However, he still was a professor of Leningrad universities later. Loosely inserted leaf contains a 3-page handwritten poem about this book that A. Osetskii wrote for Desnitsky. In this curious poem, the author asks Desnitskii to supply him with an academical ration. Osetskii has got payed for the writing of this course with this academic food ration. In terms of country breakdown and common hunger, Bolsheviks organized a privilege system for various groups. In particular, in the early 1920s, they provided academic ration packs. This early Soviet manual describes the practice of typesetting for students and novice workers of printing shops. The text is illustrated with woodcuts of equipment, a drawing of Russian type case, schemes of French and German type cases and some type specimens. The authors explained technical details, for instance, how to produce poems, tables and what daily newspaper typesetting differs from others. As a supplement, three tables are printed at the end: Latin alphabet in printed font, cursive and pronunciation; first pages of sections in various format books; mathematical and geometrical symbols. The same authors also released a book on stereoplate printing in 1920. Not found in Worldcat.
Ehrenburg, I. Moscow: Izogiz, 1933. 235,  pp. 17,5x20 cm. In original cardboards with renewed spine and modern slipcase duplicating binding. No dust jacket. Covers restored and slightly worn, lower edge of front cover faded, light soiling of some pages, Soviet bookstore stamps on back flyleaf. Otherwise very good. First edition. One of 5000 copies. Text and photographs by Jewish journalist Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967) mostly living in emigration at that time. In contrast to the book by Kusikov, this edition is a project that El Lissitzky made for an emigre but released in the Soviet Union. Earlier, their well-known collaboration took place in Berlin in 1922. Together, Lissitzky and Ehrenburg published the international modernist magazine 'Veshch' [Object] of two issues. A whole period of the life and work of Ilya Ehrenburg is associated with Paris. He first arrived in France in 1908 and had lived there until the Russian February revolution. Then he witnessed the October revolution and the Civil War, was arrested in Soviet Moscow and managed to leave the country in 1921. In the early 1920s, Ehrenburg turned up in the center of Russian emigration, Berlin, but headed to France again in 1924. In 1931, Ehrenburg filmed on Paris streets. He explained in this edition: "The writer realizes that in order to see people, you yourself must remain invisible. A camera disperses a crowd like a muzzle of a revolver. For many months I wandered around Paris with a small camera. People were sometimes surprised: why am I taking pictures of a fence or a pavement? They didn't know I was filming them. This is an extremely tricky device. Its affectionate name is Leica. Leica has a side viewfinder. It is built on the principle of a periscope. I shot at a 45 degree angle". It is a social reporting of daily life of Paris in the early 1930s. It contains an abundance of photographs. People were photographed at doors and in cafes, at work and at rest, in their poverty and dignity, and then were described in brief texts. The book contains 32 thematic sections: Benches, Elderly Women, Abbots, Prisons, Stores, Funerals, Lovers, etc. Relations between the Soviet authorities and Ehrenburg didn't turn into absolute plus, but the USSR benefited from using the name of a major journalist for the purposes of pro-Soviet propaganda abroad. In the 1920s, Ehrenburg visited the Soviet country twice and did it again in 1932, to overview gigantic construction sites. In the early 1930s, he softened his attitude towards the USSR because faith in a happy future appeared. In 1933, this edition was released. Copies are located in Harvard, Yale, California, Princeton, Cornell, Syracuse, Chicago, North Carolina, Florida Universities, Getty Institute, Amherst College, NYPL, National Gallery of Art, George Eastman Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, LACMA.
[WRESTLING IN ITS EARLY PERIOD IN RUSSIA] Post card with a group photograph of Greco-Roman wrestlers[Armavir, 1900-1910s]. 8,6x13,1 cm. Very good, most people depicted are signed on rear side in ink. On face side, city and date are handwritten. A rare source on Greco-Roman wrestling in prerevolutionary Russia. Greco-Roman or French wrestling was widely practiced and contested in the Russian Empire. It officially emerged in the late 19th century. Until the 1880s, only individual enthusiasts were fond of it. In 1885, on the initiative of the doctor Vladislav Kraevsky, a Weightlifting Club was formed in St. Petersburg, in which members were also engaged in wrestling. In 1897, the first national championship was held: without division into weight categories and without time limits for fights. In 1898 the first Greco-Roman wrestling European championship among fans took place in Vienna. 11 athletes from 3 countries participated: Austria, Germany and Russia. Competitions took place without division into weight categories. The wrestler from the Russian Empire, George Gakkenshmidt became the first champion of Europe. Due to rapid development of professional wrestling, the first championship of Russia among professional wrestlers was held in Petrograd in 1904. By the First World War, there were about twenty sports organizations cultivating wrestling in Russia, and the total number of amateurs was 250-300 people. In 1914, the All-Russian Weightlifting Union adopted international wrestling rules. Since then, all competitions in Russia have been held in five weight categories. Prior to this, there were no uniform rules, and even in one city, competitions could be held in different ways. This postcard features 24 participants of a wrestling competition held before the Soviet period. A handwritten note on its face side states that this picture was taken in Armavir in 1918-1919. During the Russian Civil War, this city was seized alternately by the Reds and the Whites about 12 times from the spring of 1918 to the spring of 1920. If the competition took place during the mentioned period, it was possible to hold in 1919, the only substantial stay of White Army in the city.
Buravlev, V. Moscow: Detizdat: Fabrika detskoi knigi, 1941. One leaf folded four times. Unfolded: 10x59,2 cm. Folded: 10x12 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Minor tear of one fold, otherwise mint. The copy features traces of book price changing on front wrapper and last page. The copy features traces of book price changing on front wrapper and last page. This panorama handbook contains illustrated instructions on how to restore an earlier bound book all alone. Nine sections of the leaf feature the text and 26 illustrations. The edition introduces tools and equipment needed and shares "the simplest and quick method" of manual bookbinding. The book was released by Detizdat, so it was supposed to be read and used by children. Interestingly, the page about instruments starts with a direction to produce by themselves a paper press and a sewing frame, to prepare flour paste, wood glue, two wooden boards with sloped edges, etc. Not found in Worldcat.
[EL LISSITZKY AND IMAGINISM] Ptitsa bezymiannaia. Izbrannye stikhi 1917-1921 = Der ungenannte Vogel : Gedichte [i.e. Bird without a Name. Selected Verse of 1917-1921]Kusikov, A. Berlin: Skify, 1922. 62,  pp. 21x14 cm. In original constructivist wrappers. Creases of wrappers, few minor stains, private stamp on t.p. and p. 33. Otherwise near fine. One of the Berlin projects produced by El Lissitzky (1890-1941), one of the leading figures in Russian avant-garde art. He is best known for his photomontage experiments and international art projects. In December 1921, Lissitzky moved to Berlin as a cultural representative. He worked on establishing contacts between Russian and German artists, as well as introducing Russian avant-garde into European modernism. In particular, he contributed to "Die erste russische Kunstausstellung" [The First Exhibition of Russian Art] where 150 Soviet artists showed more than 700 artworks. 'Bird without a Name' resembles other designs of that period - "Rabbi", "Object" - altering colored and outlined letters. Along with them, this collection was printed by a Berlin-based Russian emigre publisher "Scythians" [Rus. Skify] The book collects poems by one of the leading members of Russian literary imagism, Alexander Kusikov (1896-1977). He was active in all imagist initiatives and was especially fortunate in publishing business and tricks against censorship. In January 1922, with the help of Lunacharsky, he went on a business trip abroad. Interestingly, Kusikov criticized 'Object' of Ehrenburg and Lissitzky for surplus of mechanization - he published that note in the pro-Soviet newspaper 'Nakanune' on April 30, 1922. For two years, Kusikov lived in Berlin, which was the center of Russian emigre culture at that time. He showed his loyalty to the Revolution and received the alias "Chekist" among emigrants. Twice he held scandalous literary evenings with Esenin who passed by through Berlin. Initially, Kusikov was widely published in the European press and was rather influential. After he moved to Paris in 1924, Kusikov became disillusioned with imagism and his literary activity was fading away. Worldcat shows copies located in LoC, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Wisconsin, Illinois, Chicago, Kansas, Cornell, Dartmouth, New York Universities, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, Getty Institute, Art Institute of Chicago, Amherst College.
[SOVIET ARMENIA IN ART] Vystavka kartin zasluzhennogo deiatelia iskusstv Pavla Kuznetsova [i.e. Exhibition of Works by Honored Art Worker, Pavel Kuznetsov]Moscow: Gos. muzei iziashchnykh iskusstv: Tip. gaz. "Pravda", 1931. 19,  pp.: ill., 1 ill. 16x11 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Rusty staples, otherwise mint. First and only edition. One of 1500 copies. The foreword is written by A. Lunacharsky. A less-known catalog of a lifetime exhibition of modernist artist Pavel Kuznetsov (1878-1968) held at the State Museum of Fine Arts. Two years earlier, works by the artist were exhibited at the Tretyakov gallery, with a similar catalog published for it. Unlike that edition, this one was printed with the cover design featuring Kuznetsov's work "Tuff Processing". A colored reproduction of a work "Construction in Armenia" is printed on an insert. According to the artist, a 1930 trip to Armenia gave impetus to a number of paintings in which he tried to express "collective pathos of monumental construction, where people, machines, animals and nature merge into one powerful chord". The works of the late 1920s - early 1930s were the last, third peak of Kuznetsov's art. The exhibition consisted of more than 100 exhibits, and a significant amount of works were devoted to socialist construction sites in Armenia. The catalog lists all names of paintings, water colors and graphic works. Local cities were built of tuff - stone of various colors - and the artist frequently depicted this material. Apart from the foreword, the edition includes a critical article "Construction of Soviet Armenia in Works by Pavel Kuznetsov" by historian-orientalist Ilya Borozdin and a short essay "To Construction" by Pavel Kuznetsov himself. The catalog reproduces 10 black-and-white works from the exhibition, including "Construction of a Club", "Cotton Sorting", "Builders", "Pushball". Worldcat shows copies located in Princeton and Massachusetts Universities, the MET, NYPL.
Aronson, B. Berlin: Petropolis, 1924. , 104,  pp.: ill. 33,5x26,5 cm. In modern cloth binding with original illustrated wrappers mounted. Foxing, edges of half-title chapped, leaf of contents repaired, some soiling, tissue leaves preserved, some with fragments lost. Valuable piece of Jewish avant-garde printed in emigration. Copy #253 of 300. The monograph was written by art critic, graphic artist and theater designer Boris Aronson (1898-1980), one of the pioneers of the international Jewish modernist movement. He was born into a rabbi family in Nizhyn (northern Ukraine). In 1912-1916, he studied at the Kyiv Art University. During these years, he became close to a circle of Jewish students united by an interest of new trends in contemporary European and Russian art and national self-consciousness. He also attended private studios of A. Murashko and A. Exter. His involvement to Jewish art became more large-scale in the Kultur Lige. In its art section he exhibited his works for the first time in the spring of 1920. Until early 1921, he took an active part in collecting Jewish art crafts and luboks for the Kultur-League Museum and taught at its art studio. Soon Aronson co-published with Rybak a kind of manifesto "Di vegn fun der yidisher maleray" (Pathways of Jewish Art), which appeared in the journal 'Oyfgang' in 1919. In 1921, Exter invited Asonson to Moscow. He enrolled at the Vkhutemas in the workshop of I. Mashkov, worked as Exter's assistant at the Kamerny Theater and, probably, designed the play "Before Dawn" at the Moscow Jewish Chamber Theater. In 1922, Aronson left the USSR and moved primarily in Poland and then in Germany. There he participated in cultural events of Russian and Jewish artists, exhibited at Van Diemen gallery, created costume designs for a performance of one of the pioneers of Jewish avant-garde choreography, dancer Baruch Kaushansky-Agadati. He released two books, a review "Contemporary Jewish Graphics" and a monograph "Marc Chagal". According to Aronson, Jewish art always was twodimensional and non-realistic. This was initiated by religious ornaments and thus spread through works of all Jewish artists. Lissitzky, Rybak, Elman - they all copied folk ornaments to use them in their own graphics. Aronson compares his contemporaries and features of their manners. This book was printed in the Berlin printing house Zinaburg and Co. Illustrations were printed in the art workshops of Albert Fischer. It features reproductions of works by remarkable Jewish artists of the early 20th century: N. Altman, B. Aronson, L. Zak, El Lissitzky, L. Lozovik, S. Rybak, A. Tyshler, M. Chagall, D. Sternberg, J. Steingart, I. Chaikov, I. Elman. Copies are located in Columbia, Yale, Princeton, Texas, North Texas, Chicago, Colorado Boulder, Cincinnati, Ohio, Binghamton Universities, Getty Institute, Hebrew Union and Amherst Colleges, NYPL.
[HAMLET ON RUSSIAN STAGE] Gamlet. Tragediia v piati deistviiakh. V stikhakh. Podrazhanie Shekspiru. Predstavlena v pervyj raz na Sanktpeterburgskom teatre pridvornymi ego imperatorskago velichestva akterami v 28 i den’ noiabria 1810-go goda [i.e. Hamlet. Tragedy in Five Actions. In Verses. Adaptation of Shakespeare : Introduced for the First Time by His Imperial Majesty Court Actors at Saint Petersburg Theater on November 28, 1810][Shakespeare, W.] Saint Petersburg: V Morskoi Tipografii, 1811. , 56 pp. 20,5x12,5 cm. In late wrappers with title glued to spine; modern slipcase. Stamp of a theatrical library on t.p., some minor stains, few small tears of covers, otherwise mint. One of the earliest Russian adaptations of the whole story. Very rare. The first translation of 'The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark' into Russian was undertaken by A. Sumarokov in 1748. He essentially altered the plot, so Ophelia remained alive and Hamlet favorably became king of Denmark. Over the following half-century, only Hamlet's main speech was translated and published four times. The play was kept away from the Russian stage because of Paul I of Russia who was regarded as "the Russian Hamlet" for some coincidences. Shakespeare worthily gained popularity among Russians in the 1820-1840s. Until then, his tragedies were represented mainly through French alterations. In particular, translator Stepan Viskovatov based this free translation of 'Hamlet' on version of French playwright Jean-François Ducis. Stepan Ivanovich Viskovatov (1786-1831) wrote poems and plays, some were staged but never published. In 1808, he became a duty officer and librarian in the Mining Cadet Corps, teaching Russian literature and history. Later he began translating for Imperial theaters. In this version of 'Hamlet', Ophelia also remained alive until the end. Claudius murdered the queen, tried to accuse Hamlet of this but was exposed as his sword was covered in blood. Claudius rushed at Hamlet, simultaneously pushed Ophelia and she fainted or lost her life. Claudius' accomplices sided with Hamlet, who hit Claudius with a sword. Hamlet wanted to end his life after his mother and Ophelia but remained to live for the sake of the country. Viskovatov's adaptation of 'Hamlet' was first staged on November 28, 1810, then released as a book. The edition credits seven actors that were the first Russian performers of the play: Alexei Yakovlev (Hamlet), Alexandra Karatygina (Gertrude), Elisei Bobrov (Claudius), Ekaterina Semenova (Ophelia), Pashkov (Harold, instead Horatio), Glukharev (Polonius), as well as Terpugova (confidente of Gertrude). The translation was dedicated to privy councillor, chamberlain Sergei Lanskoi. It was reprinted in 1929, without Shakespeare credited. Not found in the USA.
[OTHELLO ON RUSSIAN STAGE] Otello, venetsianskii mavr. Drama v piati deistviiiakh Shekspira [i.e. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Tragedy in Five Actions by Shakespeare][Shakespeare, W.] Saint Petersburg: V tipografii Snegireva i Ko, 1836. , VI, 213,  pp. 21,5x13,5 cm. In modern half-leather with covers marbled; gilt lettering on spine. Some soiling of pages, otherwise near fine. Early Russian translation into prose. Very rare. The story of Othello turned up in Russian publications in 1809, as a prose adaptation that I. Vel'iaminov had created from an alteration by French playwright Jean-François Ducis. Then, some fragments were published selectively, as well as an adaptation for mime ballet. This translation was undertaken by writer and literary critic Ivan Panaev (1812-1862). Panaev debuted in 1834 with some stories. His works stood out primarily by female characters. Contemporaries remembered him mostly as a journalist. In particular, in 1947, together with Nekrasov, Panaev revived 'Sovremennik'. There, under the pseudonym "New poet", Panaev wrote monthly witty feuilletons, first critical, then about life in St. Petersburg. However, his translation of Othello is particularly interesting. In his memoirs, Panaev confessed: "Like all young people, I was passionate about the theater At that time I began to read Shakespeare I didn't know English and got to know Shakespeare in French translation. 'Othello' made the same impression on me as "Notre Dame de Paris" by Hugo once. For several weeks in a row I only raved about 'Othello' The desire to see this drama on the Russian stage haunted and tormented me. Finally, I decided to translate it, inviting my relative and friend M. Gamazov who knew English quite well. Gamazov helped me a lot and then checked the translation with the English text". His translation of the tragedy was chosen by Panaev's relative, actor Yakov Bryansky for his show. He influenced Panaev to delude the public: "We will put "from English" on the poster; this is necessary, otherwise they will think that this is a remake of Ducis". As a result, an advertising poster for the first staging of 'Othello' stated this knavery. The book of the translation was released shortly afterwards, with the same claim on the title page. The only copy is located in Folger Shakespeare Library.
[GEORGIA IN 1930s] K 15 Letiyu Sovetskoy Vlasti v Gruzii [i.e. For the 15th Anniversary of Soviet Rule in Georgia]29 pp. 41x60 cm. In handsome contemporary burgundy morocco. Gilt lettering on the front cover. Moire red endpapers. Red stained edges. Bottom edge of the spine is slightly rubbed. Otherwise fine. The album includes 57 photos of the celebrations of the 15th anniversary of Georgian Soviet Republic. The album was given to Valerian Bakradze (1901-1971), the head of The Council of People's Commissars at the time - the second person in republic. Album probably was produced in few numbers for the highest party officials only. Bigger photos are 45x30 cm. It starts with the photos of the leaders: Lenin, Stalin, Voroshilov and Ordzhonikidze (43x28,5 cm). Then two panoramic photos of Tbilisi. The highest official figure to attend the celebrations was Kliment Voroshilov (1881-1969) who was the Commissar of Defence at that time. There are photos of him giving the speech and shaking hands with the head of Georgian Republic at the time Filip Makharadze (1868-1941). Next 19 leaves are dedicated to the ceremonial parade on the central square of the city. The sportsmen, gymnasts march as well as the army. Gymnasts are shown on the movable stage with Beria and Stalin portraits. Several photos show people in costumes of vikings, Russian medieval bogatyr and Georgian national warrior. Young women from different government institutions march in the identical white frocks. The photos of traditional Georgian dances follow. The last 6 leaves are dedicated to the city: panoramic photos alongside the photos of the different places of interest. A unique peek into the official celebrations in Georgia of 1930s.