27 November 2008
KONDAKOV, Nikodim Pavlovich (1844-1925). Histoire et Monuments des Emaux Byzantins. [Istoriia i pamiatniki Vizantiiskoi emali.] Frankfurt: A. Osterrieth, 1892.
4° (358 x 274mm). With the silk place-mark [zakladka]. Chromolithographed dedication with patterned silver foil background, portrait frontispiece, chromolithographed additional title, title printed in red within chromolithographed border, chromolithographed divisional titles, initials and tail-pieces, 31 chromolithographed plates. Original morocco, sides and spine blocked and richly gilt, edges printed in various colours, original printed endpapers (minor scuffs); original brocade dust-jacket [parchovaia superoblozhka] (light wear on the verso including a tear in the lining); original green textured paper-covered case lined with white silk and with red silk ribbon (some wear at the extremities, some touches of colour).
FIRST EDITION. 'ONE OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS PUBLICATIONS OF THE 19TH CENTURY' (RGB). 'one of the greatest bibliographic rarities'; 'this book is undoubtedly a masterpiece of the Russian printing industry. It has no equals either in terms of workmanship or in terms of the funds involved (it cost 120,000 roubles in gold by the exchange rate for 1892' (Vengerov). After Zvenigorodsky's death J.P. Morgan bought his spectacular collection, which is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Number 45 of 200 copies printed in French, from an edition of 600 only. Fekula 6705 ('magnificent'); Rossiiskaia Gosudarstvennaia Biblioteka, Moscow, 2006, pp.200-1; Russkie Knizhnye Redkosti, I, p.69; Vengerov, Old Russian Books 77.
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