LE CLERC, Nicolas Gabriel (1726-1798). Histoire physique, morale, civile et politique de la Russie ancienne [et moderne]. Paris and Versailles: Froullé and Blaizot, 1783-1794.
7 volumes, 4° (256 x 189 mm). Half-title in each text volume. Atlas comprising: 4 engraved maps, 73 engraved plates, and 10 letterpress tables (9 folding) usually bound in text volumes, some double-page, by Auvray, Chenu, Le Bas, and Pauquet after Chevalier and Desmaisons; 38 folding engraved plates, maps and plans after Lespinasse, Pauquet and others, including a large folding plan of St. Petersburg and 16 views, 9 (of 16) folding letterpress tables at end. (Some occasional spotting, browning, or staining, a few plates trimmed close affecting borders, titles or imprints, a few folding plates with short tears in gutter.) Uniform contemporary cat's-paw calf gilt, spines in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands, green morocco lettering-pieces (some wear and rubbing, some chipping).
FIRST EDITION IN UNIFORM CONTEMPORARY BINDINGS. The atlas volume to Le Clerc's great work is particularly notable for its fine panoramic views of towns and palaces by Auvray, Fessard, Niquet and Née after Louis-Nicolas de Lespinasse (1734-1808). Le Clerc first visited Russia in his profession as doctor in 1759, and in 1769 he received several important appointments in Moscow, giving him the opportunity to correlate many rare and almost unknown historical sources. The publication of this work prompted Catherine II to commission a riposte: Ivan Nikitich Boltin's 2 volume Notes on the History of Ancient and Modern Russia (St. Petersburg, 1788). Brunet III, 916; Cohen-de Ricci 613.