BIBLE, Gospels, in Church Slavonic. Sviashchennoe evangelie. [The Holy Gospels.] Moscow: Synodal Press, 1771.
2° (440 x 300mm). Printed throughout within engraved borders in black and red, four full-page engraved illustrations of the Evangelists. (Title repaired in inside margin, margins dampstained, light spotting, some marginal soiling.) Contemporary silver-gilt binding over wooden boards, with the mark of the unknown assay master with Cyrillic initials M.G., the hallmark of Moscow 1772, and the mark of an unrecorded maker with Cyrillic initials S.S, the upper cover with a repoussé, chased and engraved design centred with the Risen Christ, the Evangelists at the corners, these within rococo borders and over a field of lozenges and quatrefoils, the lower cover with bosses and centred with the instruments of the passion within a broad strap-work border, spine with similar strap-work bands and compartments with related iconography including the Lamb of God, catches and clasps, one with the likeness of Peter, the other of Paul (hinges pulling from the spine at the head and foot). Provenance: sold, Phillips, 26 November 1990, lot 184.
A SUPERB 18TH-CENTURY RUSSIAN SILVER BINDING, hallmarked Moscow 1772. This rare edition of the Holy Gospels was printed early in the reign of Catherine II and intended for use on the altar. Zernova locates only one copy; Zernova & Kameneva SK Kyr. Pet. XVIIIv 821 (listing only the copy in the Central Archive, which lacks the full-page engravings).