Our Notes & References
The first and only edition of this finely produced record of imperial hunting parties in the Caucasus – one of the greatest Russian hunting books, in French and Russian, conceived and produced specifically to promote the Caucasian region at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900.
Kalinovsky (an officer in the 16th Caucasus Grenadier Regiment) apologises in his preface for any shortcomings in the work, writing that, ‘ayant été conçu un peu tard, ce travail ne peut être considéré que comme effectué très vite.’ The author describes the Caucasus as a vast Eldorado naturel, before listing the various animals that can be hunted there, and paying tribute to the rugged and fearless local hunters. There follows a wide-ranging photographic record of the numerous hunts, with members of the Imperial family participating in many of them, and the plates generally depict the hunters at the end of the chase, with their trophies before them and in various climatic conditions.
The first plate shows a hunting party that includes Tsar Alexander III (1845-94) and his son, the future Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918). The following plates depict other members of the Imperial family, including Tsar Alexander III’s cousins, the Grand Dukes Nikolay Mikhailovich, Georgiy Mikhailovich, Sergey Mikhailovich and Petr Nikolaevich, and Alexander III’s uncle, Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich. Among the animals collected are several species of deer, wild boar, game birds, bears, and mountain goats. N. Markov was responsible for the French translation.
The work is uncommon in Western libraries: we could locate copies only in 4 libraries, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, Columbia University Libraries, and the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Boris Berezovsky (1946-2013; Russian politician and businessman); Arnold “Jake” Johnson (1930-2017; American collector of hunting and fishing books).