London, South Kensington
25 November 2014
BULGAKOV, Iakov Ivanovich (1743-1809). Rosiiskoe posol’stvo v Konstantinopol, 1776 goda. St Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Science, 1777. 4° (240 x 180mm). Two folding engraved plates by Ivan Bugreev. (Plates with tears near some folds, some with old repairs, small worm track in the margin of the last gathering.) Contemporary Russian calf, spine with raised bands, lettered directly on the spine (small chip on title, extremities rubbed, covers with light staining, short worm track in lower board and endpaper). Provenance: unidentified bookplate printed in green with crescent moon and star in gilt and, perhaps related, shelf-label (‘141’) at spine head – manuscript pressmark and deleted stamp in the title margins – Rossica of Berlin (printed label).
FIRST EDITION, COMPLETE WITH THE ENGRAVINGS, of this account of Repnin’s embassy to Constantinople in 1775-1776. In 1774 Repnin had helped negotiate the peace of Kuchuk-Kainarji, which secured Russian access to the Black Sea coast, and free passage through the straits – tremendous prizes for Imperial Russia. Bulgakov, a close friend of Potemkin, was this embassy’s marshal. Later, in 1781, Bulgakov was himself envoy to the Ottoman Porte during which embassy he successfully negotiated the cession of the Crimea. One of only 600 copies printed. Bitovt 1884; Obol’ianinov 2348; SK 8818.
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