PY Rare Books

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Istoriya pervoklassnogo stavropigial'nogo Solovetskogo monastyrya [History of Stavropegic first-class Solovetsky Monastery].

Istoriya pervoklassnogo stavropigial’nogo Solovetskogo monastyrya [History of Stavropegic first-class Solovetsky Monastery].

IOANNIKII, I.F., ARCHIMANDRITE]. "Detailed illustrated history of this celebrated fortified monastery founded in the 1430s on an island of the White Sea - before becoming the first corrective labour camp of the Communist regime after the Revolution, and an early member of the GULAG system. With many full-page photographic plates and two large folding maps: of the Solovky islands and of the surrounding region. The author of the book, being the head of the monastery, represented the monastery historiographic school. Before him, Archimandrite Dosifei published a major work on the history of the monastery in 1833. Both authors relied on a wide range of archival documents: letters of honor and imperial letters, decrees, orders of the Synod, diplomatic correspondence, monastery household documentation. Archimandrite Ioanniky, unlike his predecessor, paid great attention to the internal, everyday life of the monks, the construction and development of the monastery, the work of various monastery services, workshops and schools. Provenance: Ya. D. Yagunov, 1936 (dated stamp to title); Avenir Nizoff (émigré, musician, and book collector who lived in Edmonton, Canada). Quarto (30 x 23 cm). VIII incl. title and t.o.c., 225, [2] pp., with 27 plates of photographic reproductions, some double-page, and 2 folding plans loosely inserted; minimal occasional foxing, but overall very fresh internally. Publisher’s maroon cloth with gilt lettering to upper cover, flat spine lettered in gilt; a bit rubbed, more on the edges and corners, bumped, spine lettering oxidized.
Notes of Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov about the war of 1812.

Notes of Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov about the war of 1812.

Aleksey Petrovich YERMOLOV; also ERMOLOV A detailed account of the Great Patriotic War by one of the most distinguished Russian military leaders. The important émigré first edition, printed in London and forbidden in Russia. A very good example with the rare printed wrapper bound-in. When Napoleon attacked Russia in 1812, Russian troops began to retreat to Moscow. It was a period full of intrigues and Yermolov (1777 –1861) was instrumental in resolving some of them, particularly a conflict between two of the most prominent generals, Barclay de Tolly and Bagration. As a chief of Barclay’s staff, Yermolov covered up harsh words in their correspondence while appealing to Emperor Alexander I to replace Barclay de Tolly with Bagration. Thanks to Yermolov’s efforts, decision was taken to unite the First and the Second Armies for the successful defence of the city of Smolensk. Yermolov distinguished himself at the Battle of Borodino, where he was lightly wounded leading a counterattack that recaptured the Great Redoubt. For his courage, he received the Order of St. Anna. During the course of the war Yermolov kept detailed notes, which he reviewed and refined later. As Prince Dolgorukov, the editor, explains in his preface, Yermolov was reluctant to publish these notes, but eventually surrendered to the pleas of his friends and family. He gave the text to a trusted friend and advised him to improve and complete it; this friend however decided not to, and gave the original text to Dolgorukov for publishing. This edition is of particular interest. It was printed in Dolgorukov’s own press, in Haymarket, London, and published simultaneously there and in Brussels. It was forbidden in Russia (probably because of Dolgorukov’s preface and general involvement) and there, in Moscow, the same year, another edition was published by Gote with the help of Yermolov’s son. Dolgorukov was surely aware of this project, as his preface specifically states that no Yermolov was involved in his own edition – just after having emphasized the hostility of the tsarist regime towards any glasnost and especially foreign publications. A friend of Herzen, Dolgorukov had indeed been too outspokenly critical towards Russia, its system and its aristocrats; this inappropriate behaviour first led to a Russian exile and then, from 1859, to definitive expatriation in Western Europe until his death almost 10 years later. At the end of the work, an addendum of more than 50 pp. includes letters, orders and other documents related to the history of the war against Napoleon. Some of them, especially the Tsar’s letters to generals, could still be sensitive material in the 1860s Russia. Unfortunately, we were not able to compare the content of both editions. Interestingly, although this edition was forbidden in Russia, it is present in a few libraries of the country and we handled a copy which was once owned by a leading Russian aristocrat, Count Stroganov. Provenance: Avenir Nizoff (émigré, musician, and book collector who lived in Edmonton, Canada). Description and Bibliographical references: Octavo (22.2 x 15.2 cm). Title, 219, IV pp.; light occasional foxing, title with pencil inscription erased, occasional blue pencil underlining in text, usually very light, sometimes heavier, and Nizoff’s typical page numbers at end in pencil. Original publisher’s upper printed wrapper bound in modern calf-backed marbled boards, spine with raised bands, two green calf labels lettered in gilt, red speckled edges; slightly rubbed, wrapper browned, a bit soiled and with small creases. ?? ??????????? ?????? XIX. ?570; cf Bibliokhronika III, 87 for the Moscow edition. Original publisher’s upper printed wrapper
Opisaniye Petergofa; putevoditel' po Petergofu. [Description and Guide to Peterhof].

Opisaniye Petergofa; putevoditel’ po Petergofu. [Description and Guide to Peterhof].

GEYROT, A.F. An extensive illustrated description of the Peter the Great’s favoured residence compiled by the Russian general, historian and publisher Geyrot (1817—82). The work comprises two parts: the first one provides a historical overview of the Peterhof area from 1500 until 1868 when the imperial residence received the bride of the future Alexander III, Princess Dagmar of Denmark; the second, larger part serves as a guide to the Peterhof complex. The work is based on the extensice research of archives, memoirs and accounts of the Russian and foreign travellers and is nicely illustrated with views of the residence after drawings by Karl Osipovich Brozh and two plans - of Pererhof and of the environs of Saint Petersburg. A quality production issued from the presses of the celebrated Academy of Sciences of Saint Petersburg, with the plates and plans issued from various other high-quality presses of the capital. Interestingly, the frontispiece portrait of Peter the Great was engraved in London (but printed in St. Petersburg) and is captioned in English. Provenance: ?????????? ?????????? ???????? ???????? [Library of the Moscow Theological Academy] (stamps to half-title, title, some pages and verso of all plates); Avenir Nizoff (a pianist in the second half of the 20th century, living in Edmonton, Canada, who gathered a large library of Russian works of all kinds; "Printed in Soviet Union" ink stamp to half-title). Description: Octavo (26 x 17 cm), two parts in one volume. Half-title, steel-engr. frontispiece, title, [4], iv, [2], 131, vi pp., with 35 woodengr. plates and two folding engr. plans; creases to plans, very occasional small spotting, light offsetting of the frontispiece onto the title page, overall however fresh internally. Contemporary sheep over brown cloth boards, decorative ornament blindstamped to covers, lettering and decorative ornament stamped in blind to spine; spine rubbed and chipped, upper hinge starting, corners bumped.
Ot Tashkenta do Gavy [From Tashkent to Gava]

Ot Tashkenta do Gavy [From Tashkent to Gava]

GEYER, Ivan Ivanovich. A lovely association copy, inscribed by the author, of a very rare travel account in the heart of Russian Central Asia. We are not aware of another copy, whether on the market or in libraries (not in WorldCat). Educated in St Petersburg, the young Geyer (1860-1908) was arrested for participating in the anti-government circle Narodnaya Volya and exiled to Tashkent, then the centre of the Syr-Darya Oblast of the Russian Empire. Geyer there worked as a secretary of the Statistical Committee and progressively became an authority on Turkestan’s history and ethnography, particularly on Kazakh culture. "Ot Tashkenta do Gavy" was Geyer’s first detailed publication on the region. Written in the form of a travel journal, it describes the route from Tashkent via Khujand (modern Tajikistan), Kokand and Andijan (modern Uzbekistan) to the Arslanbob valley and kishlak (settlement) Gava in Kyrgyzstan. Geyer’s interesting observations cover in particular some industrial aspects of the Fergana valley, the exploitation of a large wild walnut forest in Arslanbob and the extraction of the prized walnut tree burls, which was exported to Marseille; Geyer takes the opportunity to develop thoughts to make this activity more profitable for the Russian government. The Arslanbob mountain range was famous for this forest; in fact, Kyrgyzstan's first known export to Europe was the Arslanbob walnut, and it is from the Arslanbob valley that Alexander the Great brought walnut to Greece; from there the plant spread across Europe. Interestingly in Russian, walnut is called the "Greek nut". An early Uzbek publication. Produced in Tashkent in 1895, this pamphlet belongs to the early stage of book printing on the territory of nowadays Uzbekistan, where the first book appeared in 1871 (at a press which belonged to the Russian military base). The brothers Portsev were important publishers, in charge in particular of producing the main newspaper of the region, "Turkestanskie Vedomosti" [News of Turkenstan], of which Geyer’s pamphlet is an off-print. Nicely inscribed by the author to an important Russian official, Alexander Polovtsev (sometimes – Polovtsov, 1867—1944). The ink inscription on the title page reads: To Alexander Alexandrovich Polovtsev, in memory of a lovely encounter on the field of settling migrants in Turkestan, from the author (‘Aleksandru Aleksandrovichu Polovtsevu v vospominanie priyatnoi vstrechi na poprishche ustroistva pereselentsev v turkestane ot avtora’) Polovtsev was of Imperial blood through the marriage of his father, the Secretary of State Alexander Polovtsev, with Nadezhda Iyuneva, an illegitimate daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich Romanov; he was therefore a grand-nephew of Tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I. In 1896, shortly after the publication of Geyer’s book, Polovtsev was sent to Tashkent by the Interior Ministry to supervise resettlement in Central Asia and the Caucasus. In 1899, his team began archaeological excavations in Samarkand. Polovtsev was appointed in 1906 consul general in Bombay, and emigrated to Paris in 1918. Description: Small 8vo (17 x 11cm). Title, 1-136pp.; some loose leaves and quires. Publisher’s green printed wrappers; light discolouration, slightly creased and stained, minor loss to spine, inventory label with number written in ink. Publisher’s green printed wrappers
Vishnevyy Sad [v] Sbornik Tovarishchestva "Znaniye" za 1903 god. Kniga vtoraya [The Cherry Orchard [in] Collection of the "Knowledge" Society for the year 1903. Book 2].

Vishnevyy Sad [v] Sbornik Tovarishchestva “Znaniye” za 1903 god. Kniga vtoraya [The Cherry Orchard [in] Collection of the “Knowledge” Society for the year 1903. Book 2].

CHEKHOV, Anton and others. FIRST PUBLICATION OF THE CHERRY ORCHARD. Fine copy, in the rare wrappers, of the first appearance of Chekhov’s ‘Cherry Orchard’ (pp. 29-105), neatly sidestepping earlier contractual obligations to the publisher Adolf Marks - who still published later in 1904 the book-form version of the play, which introduced a few minor changes to the text. In the event, it proved the end of their connection: both playwright and publisher died in 1904. Earlier that year, on January 17th, the play premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre in a production directed by Konstantin Stanislavskiy. This Almanac also includes Kuprin’s ‘Mirnoe Zhitie’. The ‘Znanie’ Society, set up by members of the Literacy Committee under K.P. Piatnitski in 1898, was reorganised by Gorkiy after his first great success, and began releasing these ‘Collections’ in 1904. Lenin wrote that in them Gorkiy himself tried ‘to concentrate the best forces of creative literature’. The Almanacs also featured Bunin, Yushkevitch, Andreyev and Gorkiy himself. In the reactionary atmosphere after the revolutions of 1905, many of its members quit the Society, which had always been inclined towards the revolutionary and contentious; Gorkiy broke off his connection with the publication in 1912 while living abroad. Description: Ocatavo (20 x 14.5 cm). [2] ll. including title, 318, [2] contents, [4] pp. ads; occasional light soiling. Original wrappers; slightly soiled.
First Russian sea voyage undertaken for the purpose of solving the geographical problem: is Asia joined to America? and carried out under the command of Captain Bering]. Pervoye morskoye puteshestviye rossiyan

First Russian sea voyage undertaken for the purpose of solving the geographical problem: is Asia joined to America? and carried out under the command of Captain Bering]. Pervoye morskoye puteshestviye rossiyan, predprinyatoye dlya resheniya geograficheskoy zadachi: soyedinyayetsya li Aziya s Amerikoyu? i sovershennoye v 1727, 28 i 29 godakh pod nachalstvom flota kapitana I-go ranga Vitusa Beringa: S prisovokupleniyem kratkogo biograficheskogo svedeniya o kapitane Beringe i byvshikh s nim ofitserakh.

BERKH, Vasiliy Nikolaevich.] FIRST EDITION OF THIS RARE ACCOUNT, 'PROVIDING ORIGINAL SOURCE MATERIAL OF TWO PARTICIPANTS IN A HISTORICAL EVENT OF GREAT IMPORTANCE' (LADA-MOCARSKI). Initiated by Peter the Great following a suggestion by the Paris Academie, the first Russian sea expedition, under Bering's direction, was an important success proving for the first time that America was a separate continent and not joined by an isthmus to the rest of the known world. There are however few, readily accessible Russian accounts of what became known as the "First Kamchatka expedition". A Russian military historian, geographer and writer, Vasiliy Nikolaevich Berkh (1781 - 1834) focused in particular on maritime discoveries, Alaska and its conquest. His works are authoritative and are the culmination of a thorough research for which he often used source material. The present work is largely based on the manuscript journal of Warrant Officer Peter Chaplin, who was with Bering on the latter's first expedition and sailed with him on the 'Sviatoi Gavriil'. Berkh also used material from Chirikov's incomplete journal of the same voyage. These manuscript journals were accidentally discovered by Berkh in the State Archives of the Russia Admiralty. The engraved map, compiled by Berkh, outlines Bering’s track in 1728 and 1729, showing Kamchatka, Bering Strait and a small part of Alaska. The book includes, at the end, biographies of important Russian seamen, including those of Captain Bering, Lieutenants Martin Spanberg and Alexey Chirikov, and warrant officer Peter Chaplin; a fold-out two-sided copy of his journal is also attached. Scarce: we could trace 8 copies in WorldCat: one in Scotland and 7 in the US (Yale, NYPL, LoC, Rasmuson, Kansas, Seattle and Stanford), and we handled another example, the Greene copy, apparently the only one sold at auction in recent decades. Description and Bibliographical references: Octavo (20x12.5 cm). Title, dedication leaf, IV, 126pp., folding engraved map and folding letterpress table printed recto-verso; bound without half-title, some light occasional foxing and waterstaining, repaired tear to map fold, folding table cut without loss of text. Recent half dark blue sheep over period green marbled boards, flat spine richly gilt. Howes B377; Lada-Mocarski 87; Mezhov 14331; SK 1801-1825, ? 560; Gennadi, p. 83; Smirdin 3774; not in Hill, Sabin and Arctic Bibl.
Selected Short Stories

Selected Short Stories, and A Rainy June] Izbrannye Razskazy [i] Dozhdlivyy Iyun.

POE, Edgar Allan, and OUYDA [pseud. for Maria Louise RAME] VERY RARE POE CURIOSITY: the publisher’s wrappers mention simply "Edgar Poe. Short Stories" and boast a large photographic portrait of somebody completely different, a French surgeon of the 19th century! The photographic portrait is of Jules-Émile Péan (1830–98), who made his career in Paris, mostly in two hospitals of the capital, and pioneered a few surgeries, including the implant of an artificial shoulder. We haven’t found out why he was chosen as cover for Poe’s William Wilson and The Oval Portrait, published here in an anonymous translation. The translator of the other story included here, Ramé’s Rainy June, did sign his work: Peter D. Ouspensky (1878-1947), who was an important Russian esotericist. His translation was edited by Ieronim Yasinsky (1850 - 1931), writer and editor of many translations from English, mostly from Conan Doyle. Despite Yasinsky’s notorious ever-changing political views, he had a number of famous friends including Chekhov, who wrote positively of his literary talent (see in Chumakov, V. Sytin: Izdatelskaya imperiya, Litres, 2017). Russian translations of Poe started appearing in 1847 with The Gold-Bug and the first collection of his stories appeared in Russian in 1885 (Povesti, rasskazy, kriticheskie etudy i mysli). After a couple of decades of relative neglect, In the 1880s through the 1900s Poe became a darling of the Russian Symbolists in the 1880s to 1900s (see Urakova A. Code for Kids., in Translated Poe, ed. E. Esplin and M.Vale de Gato. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2014, pp. 221–230). The magazine "Probuzhdenie" (Awakening), for which this edition was a supplement, published other famous foreign authors, such as Jack London and Oscar Wilde. The magazine was founded by Nikolai Koretsky, who became its editor-in-chief and later publisher. We haven’t been able to trace any copies in US libraries; WorldCat locates only one copy, in Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma (Rome, Italy). Description: Two parts in one volume 8vo (18 ? 11.3cm). 64 pp. incl. title and ToC; 63 pp. incl. title; minor staining. Publisher’s wrappers; slightly worn and tanned, minor losses to spine, ink marking by previous bookdealer to lower wrapper.
Azbuka v kartinakh Alphabet in Pictures].

Azbuka v kartinakh Alphabet in Pictures].

Alexandre BENOIS ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING AND ELABORATE ABCS, POSSIBLY THE MOST IMPRESSIVE IN RUSSIAN. RARE IN GOOD CONDITION. Benois, a famous Russian artist and art historian, co-founder of the fertile art movement Mir Iskusstva, began working on his ABC in 1903, when his son Kolya was almost 2 years old. He chose the luxurious way: the quarto format, a page for each letter, richly coloured chromolithographs, and a prestigious publishing house, which produced Bilibin’s children books, as well as the prestigious coronation album of Nicholas II. The 2500 copies were sold at 3 rubles, fairly expensive (the monthly salary of a clerk was about 20 rubles). Benois took the opportunity to display his artistry, his gift for phantasmagory, and his knowledge. Each page shows a funny and often fantastic scene, saturated with action and characters, inspired by fairy tales. These crowded yet elegant scenes are rich of cultural references, and imbued with the spirit of home theatres that were common in Russia. The cover shows some celebrated children books – and itself among them! The letter A is represented by a black boy in an Oriental costume: his image is captioned '????' ('The Arab' in Russian). He is standing on a stage with a drawn theatre curtain, as if inviting the reader (viewer) into the world of Russian letters. We are immersed in a picturesque world of Russian fairy-tales (Letter ? (B) stands for the grandmother of all witches Baba Yaga), idyllic aristocratic life, and other exquisite images in Benois’ typical magical style. Letter H (N) is represented by Napadenie - a pretend attack on the girls' picnic by a gang of boys dressed up as American Indians. Letter C (S) stands for Slasti (Sweets) - a picture of Hänsel and Gretel being lured into a gingerbread house. The reader is treated to images of elves and fairy carriages, fabulous animals, views of faraway lands and magnificent czarinas in rich ornaments. On the last page, the Arab boy proudly points to a blackboard on which he has written that he can now read and write Russian - for which he is awarded with a smoking bowl inscribed with the word 'fimiam', literally 'frankincense'. Interestingly, some characters came to the stage: Arap appeared in Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka, and the composer Nikolay Tcherepnin wrote "14 esquisses sur les images d'un alphabet russe" (op.38). Description and bibliographical references: Quarto (33 x 26 cm). 18 ll. Original publisher’s illustrated boards with cloth spine; lightly rubbed, both outer lower corners a bit crudely repaired. Bibliokhronika, v.I, No.127. Original publisher’s illustrated boards
A Picture of St. Petersburgh

A Picture of St. Petersburgh, represented in a Collection of Twenty Interesting Views of the City, the Sledges, and the People. Taken on the Spot, at the twelve different Months of the Year: and accompanied with an Historical and Descriptive Account.

MORNAY. FIRST EDITION OF THE BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK ON SAINT-PETERSBURG, FULLY HAND-COLOURED. Published at six guineas coloured, this is a superb record of the city of Peter the Great - captured in the wake of the Napoleonic wars - and divided into two sections; the first 12 plates represent the months of the year through characteristic views of the city; the other eight illustrate different modes of transport, various types of sledges and carriages, but include excellent character studies, showing diverse types of costume by class and by season. The 26-page introduction entitled "The present state of St. Petersburgh," includes a brief historical survey and a few statistics, along with descriptions of the main sites and monuments. "Though unsigned, [the letterpress] was chiefly compiled from Robert Ker Porter's Travelling Sketches [in Russia and Sweden during the years 1805–1808], as many sections repeat his text verbatim" (Giroud). Mornay, the artist responsible for the original sketches upon which Clark and Dubourg's aquatints were based, eludes identification and does not appear in Thieme-Becker’s extensive dictionary of artists. Martin Hardie, in characteristically waspish fashion, describes the plates as "lurid in colouring, very much in the style of toy theatre scenery" (English Coloured Books, 1906, p. 138); this is entirely unfair, the colouring in the present copy is certainly not "lurid" and the "toy theatre" quality of the views only lends them a most appealing charm: many of the views are composed in such a way that they resemble vues d'optiques - symmetrical and theatrical middle-distance perspectives - which combine well with the small, scaling figures (staffage) adding splashes of bright colour, against backgrounds of snowy streets, grey skies, and yellowish-brown buildings of this "city of stone", forming a satisfyingly picturesque effect. Two of the buildings shown - the Exchange (1809) and the Kazan Cathedral (1811) - had only recently been completed. Other views include the Imperial Bank, the Marble Palace, the Square with the Grand Theatre, The Imperial Palace, and the Great Bridge. Edward Orme - "Publisher to His Majesty and HRH the Prince Regent" - was "after Rudolph Ackermann, the most important publisher of illustrated books during the short golden age of the coloured aquatint" (ODNB). He would have had a prudent eye on the visit of the Allied sovereigns to London in June 1814, which celebrated the Treaty of Fontainebleau (11 April 1814) and the peace following the defeat and abdication of Napoleon. Amongst them was Tsar Alexander I (who stayed with his sister, the Grand Duchess of Oldenburg, at the Pulteney Hotel on Piccadilly). "In 1809 Edward Orme had begun buying land and property in Bayswater, London. He exploited the gravel deposits, built houses, and in 1818 added a chapel of ease. Orme Square, developed between 1823 and 1826, was named after him, and Moscow Road and St Petersburgh Place nearby may have commemorated the state visit of Tsar Alexander I in June 1814. In the following year he published a volume of twenty coloured aquatint views of St Petersburg, and the reference in his will to jewellery presented to him by the emperor of Russia may be connected with these events" (ibid.). This is a marvellous survey of one of the world's great cities, captured at the time when it served as the backdrop for Tolstoy's War and Peace. Description and Bibliographic references: Folio. Additional engraved title page incorporating a large double-headed Russian eagle, bound as frontispiece, title, iv, 34 pp. and 20 hand-coloured aquatint plates engraved by Clark and Dubourgh after Mornay, captions in English and French, text in English, early issue with text watermarked 1815 and plates 1811; occasional spotting and soiling, sometimes heavier, light offsetting of the plates as usual, marginal closed tears repaired. Recent half red morocco over grey paper boards, upper cover with red morocco label, flat spine lettered in gilt, gilt rollwork to covers. Abbey Travel 226 (first edition 1815); Giroud, St. Petersburg: A Portrait of a Great City, 72; Martin Hardie, 138; Prideaux 345; Tooley (1954), 355.
Le Kreml (Kremlin) de Moscou. Ses cathédrales

Le Kreml (Kremlin) de Moscou. Ses cathédrales, ses palais et ses trésors d’art.

LOUKOMSKI [LUKOMSKIY] GEORGIY KRESTSENTEVICH. A complete example of this impressive photographic survey of the Kremlin, often found incomplete. The 120 plates include photographic views and details of the Kremlin buildings and churches, as well as the treasures still housed in this fortress: interiors of churches, furniture, icons and their decorations, luxurious religious book bindings, clothes and objects, princely helmets and harnesses etc. Lukomskiy (1884-1952) was a curator of Tsarskoe Selo and a knowledgeable art historian specialized in Russian art and archaeology. Most of his numerous publications appeared in French first, like this one. Provenance Avenir Nizoff (émigré, pianist, who lived in Edmonton, Canada, in the second half of the 20th century, and gathered a very large library of Russian works of all kinds, and often rebound his books himself, as it is probably the case here). Description and condition Quarto (32.5 x 25.5 cm). Half-title, VIII incl. title, 29 pp., 120 plates with photographic reproductions tipped-in, sometimes 2 or 4 a plate, captions in French, [4] pp. bibliography and table of contents; occasional foxing to mounts not affecting the photographs, a few creases, edges of leaves a bit rubbed. Binding Loose as issued in original pictorial boards decorated with colour floral ornaments, double-headed eagles and title in centre of front cover and spine, ties; rubbed, spine reinforced with red calf (most probably by Nizoff himself).
Akh

Akh, kak vy glupy gospoda frantsuzy [Oh, How Stupid You Are Mr Frenchmen].

D’AGOULT, Charles (Attrib.). Attractive example of this anti-revolutionary tract, first published in Paris in 1790 as Bon Dieu! Qu’ils sont bêtes ces Français! This work takes a strong stance against the free-thinking works of Voltaire, and what are seen as the sacrilegious ideas of the French Materialist philosophers – a standpoint that tied in well with the ideological conservatism of the Russian church and state. The French Revolution aroused strong reactions in Russia, particularly among the government and ruling elite, for whom the message of liberty and equality presented a deep existential threat. The violent aftermath of the revolt was roundly condemned, and Louis was officially proclaimed a royal martyr. Such was the anti-French feeling in Russia during this period that there were even book burnings staged in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. This Russian edition was translated from the German by Ivan Fedorovich Vensovich (1769-1811), a student in the medical department of Imperial Moscow University. Vensovich later went on to become a professor of medicine at the university. The list of subscribers accounts for only 68 copies, mostly to Russian nobility, unusually including a few women (Naryshkina among others). Provenance: red stamp to title (unidentified; armorial?); Russian purchase note in ink to upper fly-leaf, dated 3/15 April 1869. Description and Bibliographical references: Octavo (18.8 x 11.5 cm). 193pp. including title within decorative border and list of subscribers, and [2] pp. of errata at end; very occasional light soiling, title with offsetting from pencil notes on opposite fly-leaf. Contemporary Russian calf, flat spine decorated in compartments, red morocco label lettered in cyrillics, decorated endpapers in zigzags red and blue; rubbed, block a bit loosening from binding. Sopikov 2089; Svod. Kat. 354.
Expédition d'Alexandre le Grand contre les Russes.

Expédition d’Alexandre le Grand contre les Russes.

NIZAMI GANGAWI, Ilyas Ibn-Yusuf, Louis SPITZNAGEL and François-Bernard CHARMOY. First French translation of this medieval Persian poem on Alexander the Great’s campaign against Russia – a gem of 19th-c. Russian orientalism, dedicated to the great German-Russian scholar Adelung. François Bernard Charmoy (1793-1869) was a French professor of Turkish and Persian in the Asiatic Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he taught future government officials for service in Asia. He saw in the study of oriental languages—first developed in the early 1800s at the University of Kazan—a fundamental instrument for the understanding of Russia’s shared historical heritage with Asia. This Éxpedition d’Alexandre was his first major work: a translation from Persian into French of sections narrating Alexander’s alleged wars against the seven Russian tribes, from the epic Iskander-nameh by the 12th-c. poet Nizami. This edition was published as two volumes in one. The first contains Charmoy’s own biography of Nizami, a study of the poem and an apparatus of hitherto unpublished variants from manuscripts of the Iskander-nameh recently subtracted from Iranian libraries during the Russo-Persian War. The second features the Persian text and a French translation, much revised by Charmoy, of the original made by his former student, Louis Spitznagel, in 1827. With provenance: with the printed booklabel of Nikolay Nikolaevich Turoverov (Touroveroff, 1899-1972), a Cossack officer, man of culture and bibliophile. He fought on the side of the White Guards in General Wrangel’s Don Ataman Regiment during the Civil War. After his evacuation with Wrangel’s army from Crimea, he eventually settled in Paris, where he put great efforts into preserving and promoting the Cossack traditions and culture: he founded the Museum of the Leibgarde of the Ataman Regiment in Paris, published the Cossack almanack and the magazine Rodimy Krai and organized exhibitions on the military history of Russia among other projects. He was also a talented poet, writing about the wars he witnessed and his nostalgia of the native land. Banned in the Soviet Union, his poems became widely known in Russia only in the end of the 20th century. His library and his archive were important and eclectic; they have recently been sold in parts. Description and condition Two parts in one volume 8vo (21 x 14.5 cm). Half-title, title, dedication leaf, 162, 141 and 165 (in Arabic figures) pp., the last part printed in Arabic letters within typographical border; varying degrees of mainly marginal foxing throughout, some browning, a couple of oil stains to last three leaves. Binding Contemporary sheep spine over marbled boards, flat spine with "D.O." at foot; rubbed and bumped. Contemporary sheep spine over marbled boards
Les Âmes mortes. Traduit du russe par Ernest Charrière.

Les Ames mortes. Traduit du russe par Ernest Charrière.

GOGOL, Nicolas. PREMIÈRE ÉDITION EN FRANÇAIS DE L’INTÉGRALITÉ DE CE CHEF D’ŒUVRE DE LA LITTÉRATURE RUSSE. AGRÉABLE EXEMPLAIRE EN CHEMISE D’ÉDITEUR. Une première traduction, due au dramaturge Eugène Moreau, avait été publiée dans le journal d’Alexandre Dumas, Le Mousquetaire, en 1852, puis parue indépendamment en 1858. Ernest Charrière n’en était pas satisfait : il avait vécu 10 ans en Russie et venait de traduire pour la première fois les Mémoires d’un Seigneur russe de Tourguéniev (publié en français en 1854); il n’apprécia pas l’adaptation de Moreau, en particulier les coupures opérées pour plaire au public français. Charrière voulut interpréter l’ouvrage avec plus de liberté, afin d’en conserver l’esprit et d’en rendre sa vivacité ainsi que sa poésie, Gogol l’ayant décrit comme un «poème». Il structura donc le texte en vingt «chants», allant même jusqu’à modifier un peu et compléter la narration du second tome, dont Gogol n’avait conservé que quelques chapitres. Il ajouta une longue introduction à chaque volume, qui plaçait le défunt auteur dans l’histoire, les traditions culturelles et la littérature contemporaine russes. Il vit dans les Âmes mortes une œuvre politique réclamant l’abolition du servage – qui devait être annoncée deux ans à peine après cette traduction. Le résultat fut une brillante traduction-interprétation, encore publiée de nos jours et présente dans la collection littéraire de Pierre Bergé. Le catalogue de sa vente précise: Si la réception critique fut bienveillante, un article de Barbey d'Aurevilly devait toutefois éreinter le chef-d'oeuvre. Il considère Gogol comme un "Spartacus littéraire" qui a voulu embraser la Russie dans une guerre civile: "Singe de Byron, singe de Rousseau, combinant les deux misanthropies, comédien, menteur, détraqué, bousingot, tel a été Gogol". Son exemplaire était non rogné, comme celui-ci, mais relié et restauré. Il se vendit 2500 euros. Il s’agit du premier tirage de cette traduction, publiée au prix de 2 fr. le volume (et non 1 franc comme le tirage postérieur). Provenance: Libreria Magatti (tampon sur faux-titres); Biblioteca Caproni, Vizzela (grand ex-libris au verso des couvertures supérieures; Federico Caproni fut un homme d’affaires italien, fabricant d’avions avec son frère Giovanni). Description: Deux tomes in-12. Vol I: Faux-titre, titre, XXXI, 346 et [2] pages; Vol II: faux-titre, titre, XXXII, 367 et 4 pages (Publications de Lahure). Quelques rousseurs et brunissures. Reliure: Chemises imprimées d’éditeur. Légèrement tachées, dos insolés, avec petite étiquette d’inventaire en pied, un des dos fendu sans perte.
Retour de Crimée

Retour de Crimee, together with a collection of similar plates.

LIÈVRE, Édouard. First edition of this exceptionally rare humorous series of hand-coloured lithographs depicting children in the roles of French soldiers returning from the Crimean War. The child-soldiers engage in drinking, smoking and fighting, as well as in touching reunions with their sweethearts, family and wartime comrades. The complete suite is here complemented with similar hand-coloured lithographs from other publications by Lièvre, as rare, featuring some "military fantasies" and charming genre scenes – the later with captions and ornamental frames printed in gilt. Of great rarity: we could not trace any copy of Retour de Crimée at auction in the last decades and we could locate only two examples in public institutions worldwide (Baltimore and BnF). We handled another copy a few years ago – without the other plates present in this volume though. Edouard Lievre (1829-86), known for his lithographs of children engaging in adult behaviour, produced a companion volume to Retour de Crimée, entitled En Crimée, as well as volumes on art and furniture. An artist with many talents, Lièvre was also a painter and later developed a successful career as a furniture designer and ornamentist. Description and Bibliographical references: Landscape folio. Black and white genre lithograph plate, 15 hand-coloured lith. plates by Lièvre (Retour de Crimée), [5] hand-col. lith. by Lièvre (Fantaisies militaires, no. 1-3, 5 and 6) and [5] hand-col. lith. by Lièvre with ornamental frame and caption printed in gold (Matin no. 3, Soir no. 4, Bouderie no. 8, Leçon de Danse no. 9 and La Leçon de Musique no. 10) in all 26 lithographed plates, including 25 by Lièvre with original hand-colour; Retour de Crimée without lith. title, otherwise complete, occasional foxing. Contemporary brown morocco spine with raised bands, lettered in gilt, over burgundy pebble grained cloth; a bit worn. BNF, Département des Estampes, Inventaire du Fonds Français après 1800, XIV, p. 326-7, 4.
Sochineniya [The Works].

Sochineniya [The Works].

GORBUNOV, IVAN FEDOROVICH FRESH EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE FINEST LITERARY PUBLICATIONS PRODUCED IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE. FROM THE LIMITED EDITION OF 500 COPIES distributed only among subscribers. The present copy is number 89. It includes the last part, part 5 of volume III, not present in Smirnov-Sokolskiy’s library nor, strangely enough, in Muratova’s listing. Friends of Gorbunov launched this lavish production to celebrate the author, and passed the profit from the sales onto his family. It became, thanks to the scholarly work put in it and the long list of works included, the best edition of Gorbunov’s writings as well as an important source on the Russian theatre of the 19th century. It was also an impressive production, in a large format with high quality paper and fine plates, which led the Russian writer Vladimir Lidin to claim it to be one of the most luxurious editions ever printed in Russia ("Druziya moi - Knigi", 1962). Gorbunov (1831-95) was a talented actor, playwright and novelist. He became well known for his short stories depicting episodes from folk life, which were published in such periodicals as Iskra, Sovremennik, Russkiy Vestnik among others. In all his literary works he skilfully combined a deep knowledge of the common person’s life and traditions, with an ability to see them from a humorous perspective. Provenance: Avenir Nizoff (émigré, pianist, who lived in Edmonton, Canada, in the second half of the 20th century, and gathered a very large library of Russian works of all kinds). Description and Bibliographical references: Three volumes folio, the third volume with 5 parts (33.5 x 22.5 cm). Title, [4], frontispiece, [2], 384, [4] pp, incl. 2 full page illustrations; Title, [2], frontispiece, [2], 362, [4], VIII pp, incl. 6 full page illustrations; [2], title, frontispiece, III, 589, II, [4] pp, title, [2], frontispiece, [2], 158, XXXV pp., incl. 5 full page illustrations, with multiple illustrations in text. Full tan calf, two morocco labels with gilt lettering to spines; a bit rubbed, with some scratches. Muratova 5502; Smirnov-Sok. 2475; not in Kilgour, Gubar and Markov. Three volumes folio, the third volume with 5 parts (33.5 x 22.5 cm)