Luxurious hand coloured edition of this monumental record of all Russian army uniforms. A fresh example of a work which very rarely appears on the market.
When published in 1856, the edition was sold for 125 Fr., but because of the book’s scarcity, a purchaser would have to pay 200 fr. for it. In his famous catalogue of rarities Solovev priced the book at an impressive 275 rub.: ‘Роскошное издание […] Большая редкость в полном виде’ [‘Luxurious edition […] a great rarity complete’].
Dedicated to the Russian “Empereur”, the book begins with a series of five plates of portraits of Tsar Nicholas I and his four sons. Then the plates show a wide variety of topographical scenes, pleasing variations in the posture of the figures, and fine hand-colouring, all combined to good effect.
The whole work contains a certain irony because Pajol commanded the French cavalry in the Crimea (against Russia), while his father, Comte Claude-Pierre Pajol (1772-1844), was a Napoleonic general who led the French advance guard into Moscow.
Although Colas follows Vinet in stating that the 29 numbered plates, which include the title and dedication, are on 22 leaves, the fact that there is a plate 21bis brings the actual total to 23 leaves.
First edition. Two parts in one volume large folio (61.8 x 44 cm). First part: 23 leaves numbered I-XXIX (3rd leaf = III, IV, 4th = V, VI, 7th = IX, X, XII (XI not used), 9th = XIV, XV, XVI, plate XXI i & XXI ii) being title, chromo-lithograph dedication, plates of weapons etc., and text; Second part: 56 lithographs of costumes printed in colour by Godard and finished by hand; occasional marginal spotting. Contemporary green half morocco, flat spine with compartments decorated and lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges; slightly rubbed, corners a bit bumped.
Brunet IV, 311; Colas 2260 (giving incorrect details of the pages in part 1); Hiler p. 683 (8 plates only); Lipperheide Qo12 (incomplete copy); Vinet 2328; Bobins 208; Solovev kat. 105, No96.
Stock ID: 94046