ALEXANDER II – Description du Sacre et du Couronnement de leurs Majestes Imperiales l'Empereur Alexandre II et l'Imperatrice Marie Alexandrovna.[Opisanie Sviashchenneishago Koronovaniia ikh Imperatorskikh Velichestv Gosudariia Imperatora Aleksandra Vtorago i Gosudaryni Imperatritsy Marii Aleksandrovny Vseia Rossii]. St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1856.

First edition of the most sumptuous of the imperial coronation albums. This grand work documents the coronation of Czar Alexander II and his wife Maria Alexandrovna. Alexander was a reformist whose greatest legacy was his emancipation of the serfs in 1861. His reign ended with his assassination in 1881. This is the French-language issue, with fine chromolithographs mostly after Timm and Zichy. Privately issued at the time of the coronation to guests and participants, it is “one of the most spectacular and ambitious Russian imprints of the century, it was never offered for sale and is a great bibliographic rarity. A magnificent publication” (Fekula). Fekula 2019 (calls for tinted panorama not present here); Lipperheide 2787.

Elephant folio (895 x 670mm). Lithographed title in French, printed in red and gilt; 18 full-page chromolithographs with printed bilingual captions by various engravers for Lemercier after Zichy, Timm, and others; beginning of each chapter with ornate black-and-white lithographed borders, many lithographed illustrations in the text, 2 of which in color (dampstain affecting lower margin; toning to paper edge; some dustsoiling; tissue guards brittle with tears and a few lacking). Oxblood half morocco, edges red (boards quite worn with losses at corners, edges and spine; joints weak).
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