THE COSTUME OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, WITH 73 HANDCOLORED FOLIO PLATES
MILLER, William. The Costume of the Russian Empire, Illustrated by a Series of Seventy-Three Engravings with Descriptions in English and French. London: William Miller, 1803 (i.e. London: J. Stockdale, 1811). Folio (10-1/2 by 14 inches), contemporary full maroon straight-grained morocco gilt rebacked with elaborately gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands, all edges gilt. $3800.
Early 19th-century re-issue by John Stockdale, 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." Text in English and French, with a separate title-page in each language. The popularity of Miller's books created a demand for successive re-publications— though the title-page of this copy states 1803 (the year of the first edition), this is actually a re-issue, with the French title page dated 1811 and watermarks dated 1811 (text) and 1817 (plates). Abbey, Travel 244. Colas 702. Hiler 192. Lowndes, 530. Evidence of bookplate removal.
Only occasional patches of foxing and faint offsetting of plates to text. Light expert restoration to extremities of contemporary morocco binding. A near-fine copy.