Prince Aleksei Dmitievich Soltykov (1806-1859).
Habitants de l'Inde dessinés d'après nature par ... Soltykoff lithographiés a deux teintes par J. Trayer. Paris: Félix Malteste et Cie for H. Gache, [?1852, not after April 1853].
2° (513 x 338mm). Title with lithographic vignette and 41 lithographic plates (of 42, lacking plate 30), by Trayer after Soltykoff, printed by Plista, the first 24 plates tinted, the remaining 17 in proof state before letters, including 3 on india paper mounted, WITH ORIGINAL DRAWINGS and annotations (partly erased) in pencil in margins of plate 26, (occasional marginal ink marking, variable spotting, a few skilfully-repaired marginal tears, plate 26 discoloured and heavily spotted). Contemporary maroon roan gilt, covers panelled with gilt and blind fillets within roll-tooled foliate borders, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in one, the others decorated with foliate and gouge tools, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed, joints splitting, short tear on spine). Provenance: Clayton Jennyns, afterward Clayton de Windt, presentation inscription from the author on plate list: 'Offert à Clayton de Windt , par le Prince Alexis Soltykoff , Paris le 14 Avril 1853' (presentation inscription on 'Liste des Planches', inscription slightly trimmed).
PRESENTATION COPY WITH 17 PLATES IN PROOF STATE OF ONE OF THE RAREST OF 19TH-CENTURY ILLUSTRATED BOOKS ON INDIA. Prince Soltykov, an amateur artist of considerable distinction, made two journeys to India, publishing Voyages dans l'Inde, pendant les années 1841-46 in oblong folio format in 1848. The present work complements the Voyages by portraying the people of India including the very poorest and most deprived. Among the those depicted are fakirs, Paharis of the Himalaya, women of Bombay, courtesans, dancers, and the 'Rodias' in Kandy. Each plate is acompanied by descriptive text, explaining, for example, that the Rodias are of mixed race, the descendants of Europeans exiled by the King of Kandy. The presnet copy contains some plates in finished (tinted and lettered) state and others as proofs (untinted, 3 on india paper). In addition, the sheet on which plate 26 is mounted has original pencil sketches, very probably by Sotykov, of figures represented in plates 24 and 25 and other figure studies seemingly not used in the volume. It appears that hte sheet, orginally used for sketches by the artist, was then re-used to mount an early pull of plate 26 on india paper. This copy was apparently assembled for presentation by Soltykov to Clayton de Windt, a colourful figure whose son affectionately described him as wearing 'straight-brimmed hats and huge "noeude flottants" ', and as having 'adopted the manners and customs of France' (H. de Windt, My Restless Life, 1919). Graesse VI, p. 433 (dated '1853').