PUSHKIN, Alexander (1799-1837) and Vasilii ZHUKOVSKY. Na vzjatie Varshavy. Tri stikhotvorenija V. Zhukovskogo i A. Pushkina. [On the taking of Warsaw. Three poems by V. Zhukovsky and A. Pushkin]. St Petersburg: Military Press, 1831.
First edition, a copy with Imperial provenance of Tsar Alexander II, of one of the rarest of Pushkin’s works – the occasional and ephemeral nature of this slim publication (three poems, 8 leaves) has resulted is its absence from some of the most notable Pushkin collections. The Taking of Warsaw was composed to commemorate the crushing of the November Uprising in the Battle of Warsaw, September 1831, which, in Pushkin’s eye, saw the capitulation of Poland's capital as the ‘final triumph’ of Mother Russia. The pamphlet begins with Zhukovskii’s ‘Old song in a new way’, then, from p.7, Pushkin’s own ‘Slanderers of Russia’ and ‘Borodino anniversary’. Most of the run was sold in green-tinted, mute wrappers. The date of publication (September 11-13, 1831) is evinced from a note in the Northern Bee dated September 14 of the same year, No. 206: ‘In the bookstore A.F. Smirdin this book went on sale: On the capture of Warsaw. Price 2 rubles’. Kilgour 880; Smirnov-Sokol'skii, Pushkin, 26; Smirnov-Sokol'skii, Moia biblioteka, 1012; not in the catalogue of Pushkin’s lifetime publications published by the Pushkinian University, 2000.
Octavo (208 x 120mm). (Light marginal waterstaining to the initial 3 leaves, some light thumbing.) 19th-century Russian green full morocco, panelled sides with central large blind-stamped decorations surrounded by gilt filleting and tooled corner-pieces, flat spine decorated in gilt, gilt turn-ins (rebacked, with the original spine laid down). Provenance: Tsar Alexander II (bookplate ; double-headed eagle stamp on verso of title).