• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2110

    Fine Photobooks From An Important Private Collection

    10 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 60


    Price Realised  


    Pervaia Konnaia -- The First Cavalry. Moscow: OGIZ-IZOGIZ, [1938].
    Quarto (350 x 300 mm). Numerous monochrome photographs in various tints, fold-out, maps, and tipped-in illustrations, some of these printed in color. (Occasional light soiling, a very few repaired tears, a few leaves strengthened in the inner margin or folds, imprint excised at an early date.) Original pale-green coated cloth, front cover blocked in red and white and lettered in red, ruled in red up the whole spine, publisher and date ("1937") in blind on the rear cover; illustrated endpapers (light soiling and light rubbing); cloth folding box. Provenance: small number stamps on last blanks.

    Gelatin silver print (316 x 272 mm), with penciled annotations on the verso, stamped in Russian "Archive of A.M. Rodchenko and V.F. Stepanova", and "From the collection of V.A. Rodchenko"; (light handling wear, light soiling on verso).

    "ONE OF THE MOST SUMPTUOUS OF SOVIET PROPAGANDA BOOKS" (The Photobook). WITH A GELATIN SILVER PRINT OF A RODCHENKO PHOTOMONTAGE: a version of an image published in the book which comments on an event charged with symbolism during the Russian Civil War: the attempt by the White Guards to cut-off the nascent Soviet Republic from bread and other necessities. Lenin remarked: "It may seem to be a conflict about bread, when really it is a conflict about Socialism". The First Cavalry holds an important place in the early mythology of the Soviet Union -- its legendary prowess in battles between the Reds and the Whites, earned it a mythical invincibility, and it came to represent the inevitable triumph of the Soviet way. This copy possibly a deluxe issue of the second edition. Cf. The Photobook, vol. I, pp.170-71. (2)

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766