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Poterianniy Rai i Vozvrashchenniy Rai [Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained].

Stock Code 107861

St Petersburg, A.F. Marks, 1878

Original price $37,348.00 - Original price $37,348.00
Original price
$37,348.00 - $37,348.00
Current price
A luxurious and monumental feat of Russian publishing in an exceptional gilt binding by Gerhold of Leipzig. It took two years for the prolific Petersburg publisher Adolf Marks to prepare Milton's masterpiece for publication and he stated that 'I hope the Russian public will receive the book with at least a fraction of that love and affection that I have invested in it'. Any example of the first edition is incredibly scarce.

This deluxe edition was published in a notably small limitation and Marks did not expect to cover his costs for several years. He was, however, dedicated to producing a lavish and beautiful book, one which would be worthy to gift to the Tsar. Tsar Alexander III ascended the throne three years after the publication and this specially bound copy mimics the elaborate gilt designs which Marks had made a trademark of his 'gift edition' cloth bound literature.

Gustave Doré's romantic style of illustration, imaginative and richly detailed, was ideally suited to literary subjects. His wood-engraved illustrations for John Milton's Paradise Lost, recounting mankind's fall from Grace, were among his finest and most dramatic works. Here they accompany a Russian translation by A. Shulgovskaia with the original text in English printed in the footnotes.

Deluxe limited edition; folio (41 x 30 cm); titles printed in Russian and English in red and black, half-titles, biographical essay on Milton (in Russian only), text in Russian with smaller English columns below to each page, translated by A. Shul'govkskaia, illustrated with 50 plates in black and white after Doré, each with a tissue guard captioned in Russian and English, bookplate of Tsar Alexander III to upper pastedown, a.e.g.; contemporary polished calf, upper cover with red morocco onlays and elaborate gilt detailing, smooth spine gilt, binding signed R. Gerhold, Leipzig, some rubbing to spine, a fine copy.

Provenance: Tsar Alexander III (bookplate to upper pastedown); sold at the sale of 'Rare Russian Books' from the libraries of the tsars at Tsarskoe-Selo and Gatchins, 12 April 1934, lot 64.


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