London, South Kensington
30 November 2010
MALINOVSKII, Aleksei (ed.) Istoricheskoe Opisanie Drevnago Rossiiskago Muzeia. [A Historical Account of the Museum of Ancient Russia. Part I (all published).] Moscow: P.S. Valuev at the Imperial Moscow University, 1807. 2° (507 x 347mm). Printed on papier bleuté, bound with the printed dedication to Alexander I and with the part title. Engraved title-vignette, 30 engraved plates by Sokolov. (Occasional light marginal soiling.) Contemporary Russian diced red morocco gilt, flat spine gilt in compartments and with green morocco label, sides with gilt foliate scrolling border, gilt edges (a few scuff, some wear including some creasing at the spine and a tear at the head). Provenance: P.S. Valuev (presentation inscription to:) -- Prince A.B. Kurakin.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY IN RED MOROCCO INSCRIBED BY VALUEV TO PRINCE KURAKIN, in Russian: 'To His Excellency Prince Aleksei Borisovich Kurakin from Peter Stepanovich Valuev'. Kurakin, confident of Tsar Paul I, was during Alexander's reign Imperial Chancellor, and Russia's Ambassador in Vienna and Paris. Valuev, who published the book, had been charged by Alexander I to transform the Kremlin's ancient treasury into a museum. The engraved plates, here in excellent condition, show primarily the crowns and state regalia from the era of the Great Princes. Rare: ABPC records only two copies at auction in 35 years; this one is the only presentation copy in red morocco. Obol'ianinov 1141; Sopikov 7574.
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