The Costume of the Russian Empire, gorgeously illustrated with coloured engravings

William MILLER (Ed.) : The Costume of the Russian Empire… Illustrated by a series of seventy-three engravings by John Dadley. London: [ca. 1820].

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William MILLER (Ed.), John DADLEY. The Costume of the Russian Empire. Costumes de L’Empire de Russie… Illustrated by a series of seventy-three engravings. Représentés dans une série de soixante et treize planches. London: Howlett and Brimmer for William Miller. 1803 [correct ca. 1820].

Crown Folio (37:26,5 cm (binding), 36:24,5 cm (block). 11 not numb. leafs, 73 copper plates with numbered and titled hand-coloured stipple engravings as well as 73 corresponding leafs of with text. Contemporary fully grained morocco over cardboard, bound on on 5 raised bands, boards, spine and border panels richly blind and gilt stamped with decorative frames, lines and squares, all in floral motifs as well as gilt cut.

Attractive copy of this gorgeously illustrated work on traditional costumes of numerous ethnics living in the Russian Empire, with a focus on Caucasus, Central Asia and Siberia, including „Barabinzian, Bashkirian, Boukharian, Estonian, Finn, Lapp, Kabardinian, Kalmuk, Kirghi, Koriak, Kurilian, Mestcherakian, Mongole, Mordvine, Ostiak, Tartar, Tcheremhisian, Tchouvashian, Tungoose, Yakouti“ and „Votiakian“ dress and showing mainly women, also Schamans. The descriptive texts, printed in elegant typeset with wide margins, are attributed to William Alexander. John Dadley’s accurate engravings are close, however enlarged copies of the copper plates for Georgi’s "Beschreibung aller Nationen des Russischen Reichs“ [Description of All the Nations of the Russian Empire], first published between in 1776 and 1779 in 4 vol. by Wilhelm Müller in Saint Petersburg. 10 of the plates are printed on Whatman-paper watermarked „1820“. There are copies known with different sets of sheets starting with „1796“ watermarks, which is due to the fact that the plates and also already printed sheets where sold to John Murray and finally to Thomas M'Lean in 1818, who continued distributing the book with unchanged title page.

Corners, margins and joints of binding in parts bumped and worn, on minor fault on read board, boards minimally scratched, end-papers slightly foxy, spine slighlty bleached, inside very slightly finger-stained and foxy, some pages in parts with „Abklatsch“ from the mirrored engravings, otherwise well preserved copy of this beautiful print.

Provenance: Sir Joseph Radcliffe, 1st or 2nd baronet of Milnsbridge House, with his armorial engraved bookplate tipped-on front board verso.

Colas 702; Lipperheide 1341; Hiler/Hiller 192

Additional information

Weight 5 kg