Nikodim Pavlovich Kondakov’s book on Byzantine enamel objets d’art has been called “one of the greatest bibliographic rarities” and “this book is undoubtedly a masterpiece of the Russian printing industry. It has no equals either in terms of workmanship or in terms of the funds involved (it cost 120,000 roubles in gold by the exchange rate for 1892).”

This copy, one of only 200 copies printed in French, is very well preserved. Apart from the spotless full morocco leather binding, richly gilt and decorated, sides and spine blocked and richly gilt, edges printed in various colours, and original printed endpapers, the book also still has the original silk place-mark and the original brocade dust-jacket. It is stored in a custom-made blue buckram case.

It was sold at Christie’s for 27,500 pounds to a Russian collector in 2009.


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