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Polveka dlia Knigi 1866-1916. [Half a Century for Books].

Stock Code 107022

Moscow, Sytin, 1916

Original price £1,000.00 - Original price £1,000.00
Original price £0.00
£1,000.00 - £1,000.00
Current price £1,000.00
In the deluxe binding designed by sergey malyutin. Half a century for Books is an impressive example of Art Nouveau Russian book design celebrating the efforts of Ivan Sytin and the success of his publishing house. Sytin was born in 1851 in a tiny village in the Kostroma region, the son of a peasant his first experience of book selling was on his uncle's stall at the Novogorod fair, aged twelve. A year later he moved to Moscow and shortly afterwards acquired his own printing press. His commercial success came with mass producing calendars, fortune-telling charts, leaflets and books specifically intended for the rural and largely illiterate peasant classes. The works which were cheaply produced and attractively illustrated helped increase the literacy of previously isolated communities.

At the behest of Leo Tolstoy, Sytin began to produce cheap editions of his works as well as those of Pushkin and Gogol. After their authors' rights expired, Sytin compressed their entire works into one volume that cost as little as 90 kopecks. By the early 20th century the Sytin publishing house accounted for over a quarter of all Russian output, publishing eight newspapers and fourteen magazines as well as countless other catalogues, textbooks and more.

This luxurious publication was compiled with the help of over 200 authors, including Kuprin, Gorkiy and Bunin. Not only does it provide a detailed account of Sytin's impressive monopoly but provides a history of books in Russia as a whole from lubki and illumination through to the rise of readership in the industrial working-class. It is wonderfully illustrated by some of the most famous artists of the time such as Roerich, Vasnetsov, Grabar, Nesterov and Malyutin.

First edition, 4to (29.5 x 22 cm); 610pp., 14 full-page colour plates tipped in after Malyutin, Vasnetsov, Nesterov, Roerich and others, some lacking the original printed tissue guards, numerous further illustrations and photographic reproductions also tipped in, illustrations printed in the text and decorative head and tail-pieces, lettrines, titles and vignettes by numerous artists, gilt decorative endpapers; in the original cloth gilt binding with blue Art Nouveau designs by Sergey Malyutin to upper and lower covers as well as spine, some slight wear and minor repairs to binding otherwise a very good copy.


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Polveka dlia Knigi 1866-1916. [Half a Century for Books].


Stock code: 107022



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