LE CLERC, Nicolas Gabriel (1726-1798). Histoire physique, morale, civile et politique de la Russie ancienne [et moderne]. Paris and Versailles: Froullé and Blaizot, 1783-1794.
6 text volumes, 4° (263 x 200mm) and atlas, 2° (267 x 207mm). With all half-titles. Text: 3 engraved maps and 74 engraved plates, some double-page, by Auvray, Chenu, Le Bas, and Pauquet after Chevalier and Desmaisons; Atlas: 38 folding engraved plates, maps and plans after Lespinasse, Pauquet and others, including a large folding plan of St. Petersburg and 16 views, 16 letterpress tables at end, the majority double-page. (Text: occasional light marginal dampstain, occasional light browning and spotting; Atlas: some light marginal browning, occasional light spotting.) Uniform contemporary calf, recently re-backed to style, spines gilt in compartments with floral tools, red morocco labels (small repairs at extremities, endpapers of atlas renewed).
FIRST EDITION, A COMPLETE SET IN UNIFORM CONTEMPORARY BINDING. The atlas volume to Le Clerc's great work is particularly notable for its fine panoramic views of towns and palaces by Auvray, Fessard, Niquet and Née after Louis-Nicolas de Lespinasse (1734-1808). Le Clerc first visited Russia in his profession as doctor in 1759, and in 1769 he received several important appointments in Moscow, giving him the opportunity to correlate many rare and almost unknown historical sources. The publication of this work prompted Catherine II to commission a riposte: Ivan Nikitich Boltin's 2 volume Notes on the History of Ancient and Modern Russia (St. Petersburg, 1788). Brunet III, 916; Cohen-de Ricci 613; Russia Engages the World, pp. 54, 57. (7)