GASPARD DROUVILLE (1783-1856)
Voyage en Perse: pendant les années 1812 et 1813.
St. Petersburg: imprimé chez Pluchart and Paris: Firmin Didot, 1819. 2 text volumes, bound in one, and atlas volume, 4° (277 x 215mm. and 252 x 193mm). The text volume with 29 hand-coloured engraved and lithographed plates only (of 62 called for on the two plate lists), and one loosely-inserted uncoloured plate, a few plates signed by St. Galactionow and Bogrow. Atlas volume with 38 lithographic plates only, two in two states, by A. Orlowski only (of 62 called for on the plate list), some double-page or folding, most hand-coloured and on papier vélin, some uncoloured plates on blue or pink paper, and one map; with a further uncoloured plate loosely-inserted. (Some light browning and offsetting to plates in text vol., a few tears to folding plates in atlas, one plate lightly browned.) Non-uniform contemporary binding of morocco-backed marbled boards (text) and half calf (both vols. worn at extremities). Provenance: Grigorii Ivanovich Chertkov (booklabel) -- J. Tchertkoff (bookplate in text vol.) -- Library of the Museum of Revolution, Leningrad (stamp) -- purchased from F.-C. Lonchamp, Lausanne, 1932.
FIRST EDITION, the atlas is described as 'second tirage' on the title, and said to be limited to 150 copies at the foot of the subscribers' list. Drouville was a cavalry officer who went to Persia in the service of the Tsar. His account of Persian manners, customs, and military organisation is rare, no copy of the first edition being recorded by ABPC in the past three decades. Colas was unable to examine a copy of the first edition, and Lipperheide only lists the second edition, published in Paris in 2 volumes 8vo. in 1825 with 60 plates and a map.
The plate lists in the present text volume and atlas not only call for an identical total of 62 plates in each, but list the plates under the same titles. Such duplication might have occured because this is a made-up copy of a book that was published in different ways; however, the text volume and the atlas may be linked as proof copies. Although the two series of plates correspond, those in the atlas are generally far more detailed, as well as physically larger when unfolded, than those in the text. Brunet and Quérard call for 20 engravings and 42 lithographs in the atlas (without calling for any plates in the text). Of the 40 lithographs which are present in our copy of the atlas, two are in two states, and a previous owner [Lonchamp?] has added cross references in pencil, correlating the plates in the atlas with those to be found in alternative states in the text. None of the plates in either series have legends beneath, a strong indication that they are proofs. Some have contemporary manuscript numbering, while others are numbered in the engraving or on the stone. Brunet II, 839 (dating the work 1819-21); Colas I, 312; Quérard II, p. 595 (dating the work 1821); Wilson p. 62. (2)