Fine copy, attractively bound
The costumes are drawn after Georgi and Mueller, while the English text is by William Alexander, after the main Russian texts available at the time: for example, those of Pallas, Chappe d’Auteroche, Krashenenikov, Sauer et al.
Publishing the first issue of his work in 1803, Harding was most likely forced to compete with Miller, who published a very similar book at the same time as part of his own series on costume. The present edition has one fewer costume plate, but includes an engraved title, a longer explanatory text and more decorative plates, enriched with background. As the introduction puts it, “to conclude: no pains nor expense have been spared to render this Volume worthy of public attention; and without depreciating the merit of other performances of similar nature, the Publisher flatters himself that it will be found the most complete work of the kind that has hitherto appeared in this or in any country”!
Large 4to. (36.5 x 27.5 cm). Hand-coloured aquatint English half-title,  ll. including French and English title pages, dedications, prefaces and tables of contents, and 72 hand-coloured aquatint plates numbered 1-70 with two bis numbers, each with two pages of accompanying text in both English and French except plate 14 accompanying plate 12, text watermarked 1807 and plates 1808-09; light occasional spotting. Contemporary black morocco, covers with large gilt floral borders, spine blind-stamped in compartments, gilt lettering to two, gilt roulette to boards edges, marbled endpapers; slightly rubbed.
Colas 703; Lipperheide 1342.
Stock ID: 88521