MANDEL'SHTAM, Osip Emil'evich (1891-1938). Kamen. [Stone.] St Petersburg: Akme [printed at the author's expense by Iu. Mansfeld], 1913.
An important association copy of the first edition of the first book by Russia's greatest 20th-century poet, inscribed by the author to Viacheslav Ivanov in the year of publication: 'Viacheslavu Ivanovichu Ivanovu s glubokoi priznatel'nost'iu i nastoiashchei liubov'iu. Avtor 2 Oktiabria 1913 Peterburg.' [To Viacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov with deep respect and genuine love. The author. 2 October 1913. Petersburg.] Ivanov was a key figure in Russia's literary Silver Age, 'the uncrowned king of Petersburg poets' (Mirsky), and de facto co-leader, with Alexander Blok, of the Symbolist movement – the prevailing school of poetry in Russia at the turn of the century. Ivanov held weekly gatherings of writers at his apartment: 'every Wednesday all poetic and modern Petersburg met there, and the more intimate adepts stayed there, in mystical conversation and literary readings, till eight or nine on Thursday morning' (Mirsky). Mandel'shtam began attending Ivanov's gatherings in April 1909; Akhmatova remember first meeting him there. For the next few years, young Mandel'shtam maintained a worshipful correspondence with Ivanov: 'your seeds have lodged deep in my soul and it frightens me when I look at the enormous shoots coming out' (20 June 1909); and, along with these letters, Mandel'shtam sent Ivanov some fifteen of his early poems, asking Ivanov for his advice about what to do with them. The first edition of Kamen is very rare, and inscribed copies exceptionally so: ABPC and AE record only one other, a copy inscribed a year later to Aleksandr Vir (sold, Christie's, 21 May 2014, lot 59, £80,500). Two poems are parsed in penciled manuscript, probably by Ivanov: 'Zmei', and 'Segodnia durnoi den'. Martin, 'Collecting Mandelstam' in Caxtonian, vol. 14, no. 11, 2006, pp. 1-16; Mirsky (p.206).
Octavo (210 x 139mm). (Light staining on the title.) Original green wrappers printed in black and repeating the design of the title page (light fading near the edges; light wear to the extremities). Provenance: Osip Mandelshtam (presentation inscription to:) – Viacheslav Ivanovich Ivanov (1866-1949).