29 November 2007
ST. PETERSBURG -- MONTFERRAND, Auguste de (1786-1858) -- Description de la Colonne Monumentale érigée a la mémoire de l'Empereur Alexandre Ier. St. Petersburg: Pluchart et fils, August 1834. 8° (225 x 140mm). Coloured head-piece, full-page engraved elevation of the column. (Light browning and spotting, occasional offsetting of text.) Contemporary half-calf (spine head and top edge of upper board chipped, extremities rubbed).
FIRST EDITION. Eight articles on the Alexandrian Column published ahead of Montferrand's full exposition of 1836. The column was conceived as a tribute to Alexander I for leading Russia to victory in the Patriotic War against Napoleon. Montferrand compares the feat of raising the 84-foot granite column to the architectural prowess of the Ancients, citing the pyramids and obelisks of the Ancient Egyptians.
-- Notice sur l'exploitation des trente-six colonnes en granite, destineés à la Construction des Portiques de l'église de St.-Isaac. St. Petersburg: P.P.A. Pluchart, 1820. 2° (338 x 217mm). Two coloured plates by Montferrand. Half-title. (Occasional very light marginal staining.) Contemporary red quarter-morocco and light blue boards, printed paper label (spine and extremities chipped and rubbed, some marginal staining). Provenance: Sergei Rostislavovich Ernst (pencilled note).
THE ART HISTORIAN SERGEI ERNST'S COPY of Montferrand's treatment of the transportation of the granite used for the columns of St. Isaak's Cathedral -- Montferrand's other major St. Petersburg project. Includes two plans of the quarries from which the granite was taken. RARE: WorldCat records only two in North America, at Harvard and at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. (2)
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