PROPERTY FORMERLY FROM THE ESTATE OF ROBERT L.B. TOBIN, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE TOBIN ENDOWMENT*
KRAFFT, George Wolfgang (1701-1754). Podlinnoe i obstojatel'noe opisanie postroennago v Sanktpeterburge v genvare mesjatse 1740 goda ledjanago doma [in Russian]. St. Petersburg: Printing Office of the Academy of Science, 1741.
4o (215 x 165 mm). Cyrillic types with roman and gothic, woodcut initials, typographical ornaments. 6 engraved plates on 4 sheets. 19th-century Russian calf-backed blue boards (a bit rubbed and worn). Provenance: Black Sea Hydrographical Depot (stamps "Pechat' CHeromo: Depo Kart" and 19th-century bookplate "Biblioteka CHernomorskago Gidrograficheskago Depo," manuscript inventory number on title and p.17); Anonymous owner (Sotheby's New York, 10 December 1993, lot 401).
FIRST EDITION IN RUSSIAN OF THE EARLIEST DETAILED ACCOUNT OF AN ICE PALACE. Krafft's account describes the Palladian villa constructed entirely of ice to the designs of the architect Eropkin commissioned by the Empress Anna Ionnovana for the wedding night of one of her favorites, Prince Michael Galitzin. It was built on the Neva in January 1740 and was comprised of three rooms furnished with benches, tables, chairs, candelabra, plates, glasses, statues, a cupboard and a bed--all made of ice. Windows were also fashioned of extremely thin ice, looking out on a courtyard with trees, fountains and working cannons. Krafft wrote the book in German and it was published simultaneously in Russian, German and French. Leaf B2 is a cancel, as in the Smirnov-Sokol'skij copy. Anderes Ice Palaces 11-15; Berlin Ornamentstichsammlung 2770n; Brunet 3:695 ("devenue rare"); Smirnov Sokol'skij 160. RARE: NUC lists only the Library of Congress copy.