THE COSTUME OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, WITH 73 HAND-COLORED FOLIO PLATES
(RUSSIA) MILLER, William. Costumes de l'Empire de Russie [Costume of the Russian Empire]. London: William Miller, 1803 (i.e. London: J. Stockdale, 1811). Folio (10-1/2 by 14 inches), modern half burgundy calf, raised bands, black morocco spine label, all edges gilt. $3800.
First edition of this survey of late 18th-century Russian costume, with 73 brightly hand-colored stipple-engraved plates by J. Dadley.
Costume of the Russian Empire was one of a series of six costume books published by William Miller over a four-year period. Other volumes in the series featured the costumes of Turkey, Austria, China (two volumes), and Great Britain (see Abbey, Travel 533). The plates for this edition were copied from a series of engravings begun at Petersburg in 1776 and finished in 1779 under the care and at the expense of C.W. Müller, for J.G. Georgi's work Beschreibung, "at the request of the late empress." Title page in French, with text in English and French. The popularity of Miller's books created a demand for successive re-publications—this is a very early issue, with the French title page dated 1803 and text watermarks dated 1796 and plates watermarked 1801 and 1802 with only a few dated 1804. Abbey, Travel 244. Colas 702. Hiler 192. Lowndes, 530. Queens Borough Library blindstamp to final leaf of text only, small marginal library stamp to title page.
Small chip to lower corner of title page. A few instances of foxing, hand-coloring vivid. A near-fine copy, attractively bound.