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Obshchii vid Ialty [General View of Yalta]

MITKIN, Mikhail Yalta's bay on a 1.5m panorama --- A fine, wide panorama of the famous Crimean resort, well preserved and here strikingly presented in full-morocco covers. Rarely found. The large panorama shows an early general view of the coast of Yalta from the Aleksandrovskaia embankment (now Lenin embankment) to the waterfront street of Bulvarnaia (now Roosevelt Street). Covering a territory of over one kilometre, the photo shows the famous resort before the 1927 Crimean earthquake and WWII destroyed most of its original architecture. The photographer managed to capture the commercial, mercantile and religious activity of the city through its buildings, as well as recreation areas, bathhouses, and cafés, only a few of which have survived to this day. Standing out from the rest of the waterfront architecture are the large buildings of the first fashionable hotels in Yalta: "Rossiia," "Tsentralnaia," "Edinbourg," and "Frantsia." Established in the 1870s through the 1880s, these hotels soon became a focal point for the visiting elite, attracting guests with luxurious accommodations similar to those of European hotels. Another important historical landmark is the first cathedral of Yalta, the Church of St. John Chrysostom, here clearly visible on Polikurovskii Hill in the last section of the photograph. Below, along the Aleksandrovskaia embankment, the panorama shows, from left to right: the "house with caryatids," a wooden café, a chapel in memory of the murdered Emperor Alexander II, bathhouses, Baron Petr Vrangel's dacha with its clock tower, Count Mordvinov's tennis park, and a local bazar. Several residential buildings are also visible nearby, on the right side of the photograph. The panorama also shows locals, dock workers, and sailors, as well as yachts, boats, steamboats, and ships, either docked or in the harbour. Signs in different languages are clearly seen on several buildings. Mikhail Mitkin was a noted local photographer and founder of one of the first photography studios in Yalta. He produced a few such panoramas of the southern coast of Crimea, and other views of Crimean cities, as well as of numerous palaces of the Russian nobility. Yalta was granted city status on September 17, 1838, a few decades after Catherine the Great incorporated the Crimean Peninsula into the Russian Empire. In the following years, under the rule of Count Mikhail Vorontsov, the city emerged as an exclusive resort for members of the Russian Royal Family. At the time of this photograph, Yalta became the scene of massive construction projects, further reinforcing the city's reputation as the leading tourist destination of the Russian Empire and a major and fashionable health resort. Provenance: Physical description:Photographic panorama (ca. 20 x 153 cm) made of 6 sections of albumen prints mounted on original card (ca. 31.5 x 162.5 cm), cloth strip to folds, photographer's signature impressed to first and last section. Original dark red full morocco with gilt-lettered title and ornaments to upper cover, blind-stamped ornament to lower cover. Condition:Binding a bit rubbed or scratched, spine extremities lightly frayed; one section slightly detached, lightly age-toned at folds, but overall in very good condition, with contrast still well marked. Bibliography:
  • $11,104
  • $11,104
book (2)

Drevnosti Pridneprovia. Antiquitiés de la région du Dniepre [Antiquities of the Dnipro Region]

KHANENKO, Bogdan Ukraine's ancient history and culture --- First edition of this extensive, richly illustrated catalogue the archaeological collection which became the core of the National Art Museum of Ukraine. An imposing volume in fine condition, very rarely appearing fully complete as here: we could not trace any copy at Western auctions in recent decades, and only one in Russia, 15 years ago. WorldCat rarely mentions whether all volumes are complete; we could trace 9 holdings with 6 volumes, including 5 in the US (Met, Columbia, Princeton, Urbana-Champ. and Harvard/Dumbarton Oaks). Made of 6 parts published over 8 years, the 'Drevnosti' is a detailed, scientific work, finely produced by the leading Ukrainian publisher of the time, and boasting more than 170 plates. It covers artefacts found during extensive archaeological excavations conducted in the late 19th century in the region of the middle Dnipro, Ukraine's main river, and its tributaries, to the shores of the Black Sea. The text and illustrations, produced by leading archaeologists, describe and study tools, jewels and other items made from clay, stone, bone, bronze, iron, gold, and amber, discovered in ancient settlements, ancient Slavic shrines and Scythian burial mounds. There are monuments of the Trypillian culture and artefacts resembling the "animal" style of the Sarmatian-Scythian culture. Overall the work covers items from the end of the Stone and Bronze Ages (around 7th century BC) to the 13th century. The 6 issues are: 1. Kamennyi i bronzovyi veka. Ages de la pierre et du bronze. 1899 2 & 3. Epokha, predshestvuiushchaia velikomu pereseleniu narodov. Époque antérieure à la grande émigration des peuples. 1899-1900 4. Epokha velikago pereseleniia narodov. Époque de la grande émigration des peuples. 1901 5. Epokha slavianskaia (VI-XIII v.). Époque slave (VI-XIII sc). 1902 6. Drevnosti pridneprovia i poberezhia chernago moria . Antiquitiés de la region du Dniepre et des côtes de la Mer Noire. 1907 The collection belonged to Bogdan Khanenko (also Hanenko, 1849-1917), a descendant of a Ukrainian hetman, and his wife Varvara (1852-1922). Patrons and collectors, they acquired world art, and simultaneously financed archaeological excavations in their homeland, adding not only artistic but also historical significance to their collection. The Khanenkos' collection became the foundation of one of the most important museums of Ukraine: first the Kiev Artistic and Industrial Scientific Museum founded by them in 1904, which then became the National Art Museum of Ukraine. It is worth noting that, due to the 20th-c. wars, evacuations, revolutions and nationalisation, parts of the collection were irretrievably lost, making this publication an essential source on the ancient history of Ukraine. Provenance: Physical description:Six issues bound in one thick 4to volume. Complete with all title pages, plates captioned in Russian and French. Contemporary brown pebble-grained morocco spine over patterned boards. Condition:Binding minimally rubbed, the odd stain otherwise in fine condition. Bibliography:
  • $5,552
  • $5,552
book (2)

Korol, Dama, Valet [King, Queen, Knave]

SIRIN, V. [pseud. for Vladimir NABOKOV] A "bright brute [with an] elaborate and rapturous composition" (Nabokov) - in the original wrappers --- First edition of Nabokov's second novel, "the most 'non-Russian' of [his] Russian-language works" (Babikov, our translation here and below). "Of all my novels this bright brute is the gayest. Expatriation, destitution, nostalgia had no effect on its elaborate and rapturous composition", Nabokov wrote in his foreword to the 1968 English translation of 'King, Queen, Knave'. The idea of the novel emerged in the summer of 1927, when the writer was at a resort on the shores of the Pomeranian Bay together with his wife and two Berlin pupils. By the time of the novel's publication the following year, Nabokov had been living in exile in Berlin for around six years, but still "spoke no German, had no German friends, had not read a single German novel either in original, or in translation" (Nabokov). The novel reflects this alienation and reveals a somewhat hostile attitude towards its main characters, a young German man Franz, his uncle Dreyer and Dreyer's wife Martha who starts a love affair with Franz and plots with him to kill her husband. "Despite the fact that the plot is based on a trivial adulterous affair borrowed from pulp fiction, the artistic originality of the novel is [indisputable]. The author masterfully balances between the banality of the literary clichés and witty parody. At first glance, he seriously follows the clichéd scheme, but at the same time he "dismisses" it, parodies it, sometimes turning it inside out" (Melnikov). The novel proved to be very successful despite mixed reviews from the Russian diaspora. The German translation followed shortly, for which Nabokov received "probably the largest royalties for the entire Russian-speaking period of his work [.]. In commercial terms, 'King, Queen, Knave' can be considered Sirin's most fortunate project, originally designed for success among the mass, primarily foreign, readers" (Babikov). Indeed, by the end of the 1920s the Russian book market, "which had swelled during the years of inflation in Germany, gradually shrunk due to the impoverishment of emigration [.]. Only those writers who were translated into foreign languages and who were successful in their translations could make a living" (Struve, quoted by Babikov). The payment for this work allowed Nabokov and his wife Vera to clear their debts and to take their first butterfly expedition in the Pyrenees. Provenance: M. Durdin (?, pencil inscription to last leaf of text). Physical description:Octavo (21 x 14.5 cm). 260 pp. incl. first blank and title, IV pp. ads. Publisher's printed wrappers. Condition:Wrappers a bit soiled and stained, with minor skilful restoration, neatly recased; the odd spot, a few minor marginal closed tears repaired with japan paper, publisher's catalogue at end unopened. Bibliography:Juliar A9.1; Babikov, A. "Klassik bez retushi", intr. to Korol, dama, valet by Vladimir Nabokov, Izdatelstvo AST, 2021; Melnikov, N. "Vladimir Nabokov. 'Korol, dama, valet'"// TamIzdat: 100 izbrannykh knig. OLMA, 2014.
  • $3,592
  • $3,592
book (2)

Miniature Photographic Album

[ROMANOVS] A jewel of a book --- A rare album of photographic portraits of the Romanov dynasty, here in an exceptional jewel binding. Produced to celebrate the 300-y. reign of the Romanovs, it includes all heads of the Russian State from Mikhail Feodorovich to Nicholas II and his family, through Peter and Catherine the Great among the 18 tsars and tsarinas represented. Beyond the feat of printing such small photo leaves, this example is particularly remarkable for its gold binding, with an intricate cover showing gilt imperial regalia on a background of enamelled Russian colours, with both dates 1613 and 1913 designed like pieces of jewellery. It also retains its fragile original clasp. Such small and fragile objects are rarely found, especially complete with all ruling members of the dynasty. We came across another, incomplete example, and we handled some years ago a similar photo album, produced for the 1896 coronation of Nicholas II and focusing more on his family. Provenance: Physical description:Miniature album (2.8 x 2.1 cm) of 12 leaves of photographic paper, showing a coat-of-arms and 21 portraits. Gold binding with 'JW' and '56' marks to lower cover, upper cover with white, blue and red enamelling, first and last leaf pasted as endpapers, all edges gilt, original clasp. Condition:Binding minimally marked, some leaves probably rebound; a few pages with small area of abrasion barely affecting the portraits, a couple of leaves creased, first and last leaf (endpapers) frayed at edges with minor loss. Bibliography:
  • $5,160
  • $5,160
book (2)

Gospada Nashego Iiususa Khrista Sviatoe Evangelie ot Matfeia/Marka/Luki/Ioanna [Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Holy Gospel of Matthew/Mark/Luke/John]

[BIBLE, Russian] Faith in your pocket --- The first miniature Gospels in Russian - a beautiful set in superb condition, with fine literary and artistic provenance. Small-format editions became popular in Russia from the late 1830s onwards. They were first literary, and the first, true miniature edition of the Gospels was only this one, published in 1907, by the Synod Printing House. The Gospel of Luke is here in this first edition, the other being in the identical second issue of 1909. A set of the 1909 issue was magnificently bound in Fabergé style by the Stroganov academy and is now kept in the Kremlin museums. The text is based on the modern Russian translation (as opposed to the more traditional Church Slavonic), first published in St Petersburg in 1819. It is remarkably legible in spite of the size of the volumes. Interestingly, this remarkable edition was published on the site of the most ancient Russian printing house: indeed the Synod Printing House was erected in 1811 where the Moscow Print Yard was created. There, in 1564, Ivan Fedorov and Petr Timofeev (Mstislavets) published the first dated Russian book, 'The Apostle', which included Acts and Epistles of the Apostles. The first complete edition of the Bible in the Old Church Slavonic was published by Fedorov in 1581 outside Russia, in Ostrog, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (modern territory of Ukraine). It remained the official version used by the Russian Orthodox Church, until Peter I ordered a new translation of the Bible from the Greek, which appeared during the reign of his daughter Empress Elizaveta, in 1751. The second 1756 revised edition of the Elizabeth Bible remains the official version used by the Russian Orthodox Church. From the collection of Vera Kvil-Tishchenko (also Kwill, née Tishenko). The daughter of an ex-revolutionary nobleman turned oil and mining manager, Vera gathered a significant art collection, together with her husband, the architect and engineer Isidor Nikolaevich Kvil (1874-1950). Her collection included in particular major porcelain figures, and artworks by Sergei Sudeikin and his circle: she was a close friend of the dancer Olga Glebova-Sudeikina, Sudeikin's first wife. The famous artist Savelii Sorin (also Sorine) painted her portraitin 1918, known for its appearance in the magazine 'Zhar-Ptitsa' [Firebird] (Berlin, 1921. No 2.). Tishchenko also had major editions in her library, including lifetime editions of Pushkin, which she lent, together with some porcelains, to Lifar's landmark exhibition "Pouchkineet sonépoque" held in Paris in 1937. Provenance: Acquired from the estate of Vera Kvil-Tishchenko (1890-1968), partly dispersed by her heirs in 2023. Physical description:Four volumes (5 x 3.7 cm). Matthew: 346 pp. incl. title (of 348, see 'Condition'); Mark: 218 pp. incl. title (of 220); Luke: title and 366 pp.; John: 279 pp. incl. title (of 281). Contemporary full crushed dark green morocco, flat spines with gilt fillets, gilt lettering to covers, green patterned endpapers, all edges gilt; kept in the original slipcase of same leather, internal lining of same paper. Condition:Half-titles removed by the binder, box very minimally rubbed at extremities, otherwise in excellent condition. Bibliography:Tarakanova O.L., Antikvarnaia kniga, Moskva: Izd-vo MGAP "Mir knigi", 1996; for the Kremlin set: S. Haag (ed.), Die Welt von Fabergé, Kunst Historisches Museum Wien, no. 131.
  • $3,266
  • $3,266
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Vaslav Nijinsky

IRIBE, Paul (artist) and Jean COCTEAU Art-deco elegance at its best --- A superbly fresh example of this great book, almost 'as new'. First edition of Cocteau's "veritable love letter to Nijinsky" (Williams). "I no longer know whether he amazes me more by the miracle of his flights or by the intensity of his acting [.]. I experience in Nijinsky the unlimited pleasure of art and the precise joy of mathematics. He is constantly proving his genius problem, and his prestige emanates from this balance" wrote Jean Cocteau (1889-1963; our translation), a year after the publication of his tribute to the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950). "Nijinsky fascinated Cocteau most on account of his potent mixture of animality and fragility, at once desirable and androgynous, half-angel and half-leopard. He presented for Cocteau a unique, hybrid spectacle of desire, pain and sacrifice" (Williams). Cocteau's poetic verses singing Nijinsky are here broken down into single lines to caption six full-page engravings by Paul Iribe (1883-1935), beautiful for their delicate and elongated, 'Beardsleyesque' style. Iribe's elegant compositions, printed on papier japon, depict Nijinsky in two ballets, Giselle and Shéhérazade, highlighting his ability to dance 'en pointe', a rare skill among male dancers at the time: in most of these engravings, the "dancer of exceptional ability and magnetism" (Johnston) barely touches the ground, defying gravity. The album's extremely sober cover design with art nouveau lettering also allude to the lightness and grace of the subject. A French designer and fashion illustrator, Iribe came to prominence thanks to his collaboration with couturier Paul Poiret, promoting his controversial new-style relaxed clothing au lieu de tightening corsets; their work was presented in 1908 publication, 'Les Robes de Paul Poiret racontée par Paul Iribe', which received Cocteau's ironic remark that "Iribe's album disgusts mothers". Iribe was a member of the famed Ballets Russes' circle in which he met Nijinsky, the troupe's most celebrated dancer; in the early 1920s he worked in Hollywood, and had a love affair with Coco Chanel from 1931 to his sudden death four years later. Provenance: Acquried from the estate of Jacques Crépineau (1932-2017, a prominent French theatre critic, writer and long-time director of Theatre de la Michodière in Paris). Physical description:Square 4to (31 x 30.1 cm). Blank leaf with limitation to verso, text leaf, and 6 plates by Paul Iribe each with verse by Jean Cocteau. Publisher's wrappers printed in red and black, sewn with the original black thick thread. Condition:Very minimal light and marginal spotting on the text leaf and corner of a plate, otherwise immaculate. Bibliography:James Williams, Jean Cocteau, Reaktion Books, 2008, p. 46; Philip T. A. Johnston, "Vaslav Nijinsky", Encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe 1789-1914, 2018.
  • $1,959
  • $1,959
book (2)

Chetki [with] Belaia staia [with] Anno Domini [Beads [with] White Flock [with] Anno Domini]

AKHMATOVA, Anna The whole series: Akhmatova's first 'collected works' --- A fine set of these attractive editions, gathering most of Akhmatova's poetry up to that point and mostly written during the world war, the revolution and the subsequent civil war. Born in 1889, Akhmatova was 33-year old when these editions were printed. Most material was published before, however 'Anno Domini' includes 18 new poems. The volumes also boast, for the first time, two celebrated portraits of Russia's great poetess: one in full length by Altman, and the other by Annenkov. The latter had been published in Annenkov's 'Portrety' in 1922; but we couldn't find any trace of earlier publication of Altman's masterpiece - it may be its first publication. Although they were sold separately -and are usually found so-, these editions were meant to form a consistent group, as the title pages indicate, being labelled "first book", "second" and "third". They are rarely found together, all with the same contemporary provenance as here, and without any restoration. The volumes include in full the collections mentioned on the titles, but also add other cycles, either full or in extracts, such as Akhmatova's very first collection 'Vecher' (in the 'Chetki' volume), her long autobiographical poem 'U samogo moria' (in 'Belaia staia'), and 'Podorozhnik' (in 'Anno Domini'). Thanks to their comprehensiveness, they form a first anthology of the poetess' work at a crucial time, just a bit more than a year after the execution of her husband, the poet Nikolai Gumilev. They were also meant to satisfy a high demand, as some single collections were already sold out, even those recently published like 'Anno Domini' or 'Plantain'. It is worth noting that these editions are among the earliest publications of Akhmatova abroad: only 'Chetki' and 'Belaia staia' had seen light outside Russia in 1919-21, but not 'Anno Domini' nor the added cycles. With continuous provenance since publishing: these three volumes stayed together since their publication, being recently owned by Ksenia Muratova (1940-2019), a grand-niece of the celebrated art historian Pavel Muratov; Ksenia was herself a noted art historian, Professor Emerita of Art History at Rennes 2 University in France, and founder of the Pavel Muratov International Center of Studies in Rome. Ksenia Muratova received the books from her friend Valentin Glazberg (1901-86), whom she met in Paris: "one of my most beloved people, Valentin Naumovich Glasberg, appeared in my life, passionate for Italy and Muratov's books, with whom we travelled through Italy, Greece, Turkey" (Nikolaeva, our translation). Glazberg studied in Oxford right after having emigrated in the early 1920s, and then worked in France. His father was involved in the direction of Golike & Vilborg, one of the most prestigious Russian presses and publishers just before the Revolution: both father and son were bibliophiles, and Valentin owned a collection of lifetime editions of Pushkin. He also shared with Muratova a passion for art history, his own interest being Byzantine and medieval mosaics. There are some pencil annotations throughout and poems added in ink at the end, as well as on a loose leaf, all of this showing attentive reading and comparison between various editions of Akhmatova's work, either by Glazberg or by Muratova. Provenance: V. Glasberg, Paris, 30 Juillet 23 (inscription to first leaf of 'Belaia Staia', signature in other volumes); acquired from the estate of Ksenia Muratova. Physical description:Three volumes 8vo (19.5 x 13.5 cm). Frontispiece after Natan Altman, 114 pp. inc. blank with publisher's vignette designed by Iurii Annenkov, half-title and title, blank leaf; 142 pp. incl. leaf with publisher's vignette designed by Annenkov, half-title and title, blank leaf; Frontispiece after Annenkov, 106 pp. inc. blank with publisher's vignette designed by Mstislav Dobuzhinskii, half-title and title, blank leaf and a leaf loosely inserted. Original publisher's wrappers printed in blue and black. Condition:Wrappers' spines browned and fragile, covers partially detaching but holding, occasional light discolouration, rubbing or chipping, each cover with a pencil number from 1 to 3; 'Anno D.' with two leaves of publishers' neatly cut out, occasional neat pencil marks or annotations, two blank leaves and the loose leaf with poems and comments in manuscript ink. Bibliography:On Glasberg: Nikolaeva M. P. (editor). Ariela Sef: rozhdennaia v getto, Corpus, 2011.
  • $1,241
  • $1,241
Pikovaia Dama [Queen of Spades]

Pikovaia Dama [Queen of Spades]

PUSHKIN, Alexander and Alexandre BENOIS (artist) "Three, seven, ace!" --- Beautiful and famous illustrated edition of Pushkin's celebrated text - nice example of a Russian 'livre d'artiste'. Tchaikovsky's masterpiece based on Pushkin's Pikovaia Dama was Benois' favourite opera. Although he provided some of the décor for a 1903 production, it was not until May 1921 that Benois produced and adapted Tchaikovsky's libretto and designed all the sets and the costumes for the State Theatre for Opera and Ballet in Petrograd. These illustrations dating from a decade before, obviously influenced the 1921 production. They are presented here in a high-quality production: the printers Golike & Vilborg were among the leaders of Russian luxury printing, they chose a thick, cream-coloured papier vergé, and seven of the mounted plates -the larger ones- are tipped onto thick card, protected by a plain leaf of the same laid paper. With a historical and literary introduction by pushkinist Nikolai Lerner. Alexandre Benois (also spelled Aleksandr Benua in transliteration) was born in 1870 in St Petersburg into an artistic and intellectual family. His father Nikolay was a prominent architect, his mother Camilla was the granddaughter of Catterino Cavos, an Italian composer who settled in Russia in the 18th century; and his brother Albert was also a painter. Aleksandr studied in the private gymnasium of Karl May, where he met Sergei Dyagilev and other participants in the future Mir Iskusstva [World of Art] movement. For some time, he attended evening classes at the Academy of Arts and Albert taught him some basic painting skills. After graduating from the Faculty of Law in 1894, he kept entertaining his passion for arts and theatre, and founded Mir Iskusstva together with Diaghilev and Bakst. The aim of this new movement was to promote the Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau in Russia; it became one of the most influential artistic organisation of the beginning of the 20th century. In 1905 Benois moved to Paris and devoted most of his time to stage design. He collaborated with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and created many ground-breaking sets and costumes, for the productions of Les Sylphides (1909), Giselle (1910) and Petrushka (1911) among others. Surviving the upheaval of the Russian Revolution, Benois achieved recognition for his work and knowledge in art history, and was appointed a curator of the Old Masters in the Hermitage Museum, where he served from 1918 to 1926. He then left the newly formed Soviet Union and returned to Paris, where he died in 1960. Provenance: Avenir Nizoff (émigré, pianist, who lived in Edmonton, Canada, in the second half of the 20th century, and gathered a large, wide-ranging library of Russian works, especially covering art, history and literature). Physical description:Quarto (30 x 24 cm). [4] half titles, XXI incl. title, 68 pp., with illustrations in text (mostly as head- and tail-pieces of the 6 chapters) and 15 colour plates after Benois, mounted within a typographic frame, some included in the pagination and 7 on thick card protected by a blank leaf. Publisher's cream boards with gilt decorations to upper cover, same in blind to lower cover, later spine of tan leather, raised bands, gilt decorations to compartment, brown leather label lettered in gilt, original yellow-orange patterned endpapers. Condition:Boards rubbed and soiled, rebacked and corners restored; the odd foxing spot, otherwise fine internally. Bibliography:Gubar 100; Sesliavinskii, Gurmanov 14.
  • $1,039
  • $1,039
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Nikolai Palkin. Rabotnik Emelian i pustoi baraban. Dorogo Stoit [BOUND WITH:] Shest let v dome grafa Lva Nikolaievicha Tolstogo [AND WITH:] Assiriiskii tsar Assarkhadon. Tri voprosa [Nikolai “The Beater”. Emelian the Worker and the Empty Drum. Too Dear! [BOUND WITH:] Six Years at the Household of the Count Tolstoy [BOUND WITH:] The Assyrian King Assarkhadon. Three questions]

Tolstoy's life and thoughts: a gathering of scarce pamphlets --- Lovely Sammelband of works by and about Tolstoy, most in first Russian editions, including one illustrated by Nadezhda Zhivago. The first pamphlet was forbidden in Russia, like many editions of 'Nikolai Palkin', an anti-militarist novella about punishments and torture in the army under Nicholas I and Alexander II. The story is based on the eye-witnessing account of a 95-year-old soldier, whom Tolstoy met in 1886. The work remained banned in tsarist Russian even after the censorship was lifted in 1905, and it came out in Petrograd only in 1917. 'Nikolai Palkin' is here published together with 'Emilian the Worker' and 'Too Dear!', two variations of Tolstoy on previous texts: the first, written in 1886, is a take on the folk take 'An Empty Drum' published by Sadovnikov in 1884; the second is a rendition of Maupassant's "Sur l'eau" (1888). Both 'Nikolai Palkin' and 'Emilian the Worker' were published first outside Russia, by Elpidine in Geneva, both in 1891. Sophia Tolstoy tried to include 'Emilian' in Tolstoy's collected works in 1892, but the censors cut it out from the proofs. Eventually, it came out in Russia in a censored form in a 1892 collection published as part of famine relief. Then it came out in this, uncensored, edition by Chertkov; it appeared in Russia as uncensored in 1906, published by Posrednik. 'Too Dearl', a satire on capital punishment, appears here for very first time, with Chertkov's slight deviations from Tolstoy's manuscript. In Russia it was published for the first time, in this version, in 1901, by Kliukin ("Dorogo stoit" i drugiie rasskazy), and then, with even more deviations, in the 12th Collected Works in 1911 (see Notes to Vol. 27 of Tolstoy's Collected Works in 90 volumes, Moskva, 1936, p.680). The volume includes also the first edition in the original Russian of two tales by Tolstoy, 'The Assyrian King Assarkhadon' and 'Three questions', both written in 1903. The first text was inspired by an anonymous tale 'Das bist du', published in the German periodical 'Theosophischer Wegweiser' (1903, 5). Tolstoy started writing 'The Three Questions' in competition with Leskov in 1887. The main idea was to write a parable about the three following questions: which time is the best for doing things, which people are the best to spend time with, and what activity is the best to do. Tolstoy's first variant of the story, titled 'Mudraia devitsa' ['The Wise Girl'], appeared in his collection 'Tsvetnik' (Kiev, 1888). This new version however was finished much later, on 9 August 1903. On 20 August Tolstoy sent 'The Assyrian King Assarkhadon' and 'Three questions' to Sholem Aleichem for publication, in a Yiddish translation, in the collection 'Gilph' (Warsaw, 1903), in aid of victims of Kishinev pogroms. Tolstoy's publishing company, Posrednik', produced the original Russian slightly later, to allow time for the charity edition. A the third tale, 'Trud, smert i bolesn' ['Labour, Death and Illness'] was banned by the Russian censors. This edition is attractively illustrated by Nadezhda Ivanovna Zhivago (1875-after 1930), an artist, translator, and children's author. An aristocrat by birth, she studied under Leonid Pasternak and worked for the publisher Sytin. She emigrated after the revolution, and from 1923 lived in the USA, working as a translator at the International Institute in Los Angeles. The fact that she is the namesake of the protagonist of 'Doktor Zhivago' is a coincidence: in a conversation with Varlam Shalamov, Leonid's son Boris Pasternak said that he chose the name as it was popular in Siberia, and also because the word "zhivago" in a Russian Orthodox prayer means "living [God]" (Shalamov V. Sobraniie sochinenii. V. 4. Moskva, 2005). Both pamphlets by Tolstoy are separated in this volume by the first edition in Russian of Anna Seuron's account of her life as a governess of Tolstoy's daughters. This is a translation by S. Sergiievskii of the original German, published the same year in Berlin by S. Cronbach. Provenance: Sir Isaac Shoenberg (1880-1963, a British electronic engineer of Belarus descent best known for his contribution to the development of the first fully electronic television system); by descent, the scholar Peter Gatrell and his wife Jane; acquired directly from their estate. Physical description:Six works in three publications, bound together in one volume 8vo (20 x 14 cm; Palkin smaller: block 18.5 x 11.5 cm). Palkin: 29 pp. inc. title, [3] pp. publisher's announcements and catalogue; Shest let: half-title, title, frontispiece with portrait of Tolstoy, 106, [2] pp. t.o.c.; Assarkhadon: 30 inc. title and leaf with ill., [1] p. ill., with 7 full-page illustrations in text by Zhivago. Later straight-grained brown morocco spine over burgundy cloth, spine with raised bands without lettering, third work with printed lower wrapper bound in. Condition:Spine very lightly sunned; except a couple of marginal spots to a few leaves of second work, very clean and fresh, third work with light trace of horizontal fold. Bibliography:Svod. Kat. russk. nelegalnoi i zapreshchennoi pechati XIX veka 2045 for the first publication.