8 December 2015
BRETON DE LA MARTINIERE, Jean-Baptiste Joseph (1777-1852). La Russie, ou Moeurs, Usages et Costumes des Habitants de toutes les Provinces de cet Empire. Paris: Nepveu, 1813.
6 volumes, 8° (138 x 84 mm). 111 engraved plates (many folding, 105 hand-colored). (Some occasional minor staining.) Contemporary French blue calf, spines gilt, gilt edges.
FIRST EDITION, a charming copy of this work on Russian costume and customs. The illustrations were engraved after original paintings or drawings by the French painter M.F. Damame-Demartrait (1763-1827), and the views were after original works by the English artist Robert Ker-Porter (1777-1842), who visited Russia as historical painter for the Tsar. The engraved plates range from depictions of streets and buildings in St. Petersburg and Moscow, to picturesque views of small towns and the countryside throughout Russia. These include architecture ranging from imperial palaces to earthen yurts in Kamtschatka. There are portrayals of local country houses, gardens, costumes of men and women from various ethnic, cultural and occupational backgrounds, horse-drawn sleighs, Russian musical instruments, religious practices, sorcerers from the provinces, etc. ¿rare:¿ according to American Book Prices Current only one complete copy (with 111 engraved plates) of this work has sold in at least 30 years. Brunet I:1226; Colas 436; Fekula 3542; Lipperheide Kaa 29 (calls for 113 plates, the table of contents of the book for 111).
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