3 June 2009
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]. Chromolithographic dedication with patterned silver foil background, portrait frontispiece, chromolithographic additional title, title printed in red within chromolithographic border, chromolithographic divisional titles, initials and tail-pieces, 31 chromolithographic plates. (Occasional light spotting.) Original morocco, sides and spine blocked and richly gilt, edges printed in various colours, original printed endpapers; original brocade dust-jacket [parchovaia superoblozhka] (place-mark detached but present, dust-jacket lining detached and worn, binding lightly rubbed at the extremities); in a custom blue buckram case.
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 Zvenigorodskoi's death J.P. Morgan bought his spectacular collection, which is now housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Number 26 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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