29 November 2007
DANCE -- GROMILOV, Stepan. Pol'ka v Parizhe i Peterburge. [The Polka in Paris and St. Petersburg]. St. Petersburg: Guberniia Administration Press, 1845.
8° (156 x 122mm). Eight full-page engravings. (Spotting throughout, some light staining.) Original blue paper wrappers, title printed in black (hinges starting at spine foot, some staining to lower cover, edges slightly frayed). Provenance: Diaghilev-Lifar (sold Sotheby's, Monaco, November 1975, lot 208).
FIRST EDITION. THE DIAGHILEV-LIFAR COPY of this humorous dance manual with a chapter on the polka craze in St. Petersburg, where polka, according to the author, 'certainly deserves the enthusiasm it inspires; our public, usually stuck to their seats (which, as our doctors tell us, is terribly unhealthy in the Petersburg climate), have at last found a reason to leave their sitting slumbers'. There is some evidence to suggest that the chapter on St. Petersburg was contributed by none other than Nekrasov, and that 'Stepan Gromilov' was the collective pseudonym of Nekrasov and Dmitrii Grigorovich, who wrote the rest of the book on the basis of several other works.
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