SHEREMETEV -- BARDOVSKII, Iakov Iovlevich (1779-1851). Elegiia k teni Grafini P.I. Sheremetevoi. [An Elegy to the Spirit of the Countess P.I. Sheremeteva]. Translated from the French. Moscow: Platon Beketov, 1805. 8° (224 x 146mm). Half-title. Bilingual Russian and French text. Engraved frontispiece by A. Osipov. (Light browning.) Contemporary red morocco with gilt spine and border, gilt inner dentelles, blue endpapers, gilt edges (extremities rubbed, gilt flaking in places). Provenance: ?Imperial Library (binding) -- contemporary shelf marks -- 'Printed in Russia' (stamp).
FIRST EDITION. An elegy to the actress Praskov'ia Zhemchugovia, secret wife of Nikolai Petrovich Sheremetev from 1801, who died shortly after bearing a son. Zhemchugova (1768-1803), the daughter of a blacksmith, was taken into the household of Sheremetev's father at the age of eight and acted on the stage of a serf theatre from the age of eleven. She built a glittering reputation as an opera singer; on seeing Zhemchugova perform in 1786, Catherine II presented her with a diamond signet ring. Sheremetev granted Zhemchugova and her whole family freedom in 1798. Sopikov 8709.
BEZSONOV, P. Praskov'ia Ivanovna Grafinia Sheremeteva. Eia narodnaia pesnia i rodnoe eia kuskovo. [Praskov'ia Ivanovna, Countess Sheremeteva. Her national song and Kuskovo]. Moscow: University Press, 1872. 8° (244 x 163mm). Five full-page lithographs. (Light, mainly marginal browning.) Twentieth-century red morocco, preserving some of the original spine and upper wrapper, gilt spine and gilt inner dentelles, white moiré silk paper doublures, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: 'Printed in Soviet Union' (stamp) -- Sheremetev family (correspondence).
FIRST EDITION. THE SHEREMETEV FAMILY COPY, with extra illustrations and correspondence by Sergei Sheremetev and family, dated 1941 to 1956, laid-in. A biography of the Countess, her relationship with Nikolai Sheremetev and a history of the Kuskov theatre. (2)