Ukraine's ancient history and culture


Drevnosti Pridneprovia. Antiquitiés de la région du Dniepre

[Antiquities of the Dnipro Region]

Publication: Kulzhenko, Kiev, 1899-1907.

KHANENKO, Bogdan, Drevnosti Pridneprovia. Antiquitiés de la région du Dniepre

Major study of ancient artefacts found in central Ukraine and down to the Black Sea. An impressive production, both scientific and beautiful, and very rare complete of all issues.

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Our Notes & References

First edition of this extensive, richly illustrated catalogue the archaeological collection which became the core of the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

An imposing volume in fine condition, very rarely appearing fully complete as here: we could not trace any copy at Western auctions in recent decades, and only one in Russia, 15 years ago. WorldCat rarely mentions whether all volumes are complete; we could trace 9 holdings with 6 volumes, including 5 in the US (Met, Columbia, Princeton, Urbana-Champ. and Harvard/Dumbarton Oaks).

Made of 6 parts published over 8 years, the ‘Drevnosti’ is a detailed, scientific work, finely produced by the leading Ukrainian publisher of the time, and boasting more than 170 plates. It covers artefacts found during extensive archaeological excavations conducted in the late 19th century in the region of the middle Dnipro, Ukraine’s main river, and its tributaries, to the shores of the Black Sea.

The text and illustrations, produced by leading archaeologists, describe and study tools, jewels and other items made from clay, stone, bone, bronze, iron, gold, and amber, discovered in ancient settlements, ancient Slavic shrines and Scythian burial mounds. There are monuments of the Trypillian culture and artefacts resembling the “animal” style of the Sarmatian-Scythian culture. Overall the work covers items from the end of the Stone and Bronze Ages (around 7th century BC) to the 13th century.

The 6 issues are:

1. Kamennyi i bronzovyi veka. Ages de la pierre et du bronze. 1899

2 & 3. Epokha, predshestvuiushchaia velikomu pereseleniu narodov. Époque antérieure à la grande émigration des peuples. 1899-1900

4. Epokha velikago pereseleniia narodov. Époque de la grande émigration des peuples. 1901

5. Epokha slavianskaia (VI-XIII v.). Époque slave (VI-XIII sc). 1902

6. Drevnosti pridneprovia i poberezhia chernago moria︡. Antiquitiés de la region du Dniepre et des côtes de la Mer Noire. 1907

The collection belonged to Bogdan Khanenko (also Hanenko, 1849-1917), a descendant of a Ukrainian hetman, and his wife Varvara (1852-1922). Patrons and collectors, they acquired world art, and simultaneously financed archaeological excavations in their homeland, adding not only artistic but also historical significance to their collection. The Khanenkos’ collection became the foundation of one of the most important museums of Ukraine: first the Kiev Artistic and Industrial Scientific Museum founded by them in 1904, which then became the National Art Museum of Ukraine.

It is worth noting that, due to the 20th-c. wars, evacuations, revolutions and nationalisation, parts of the collection were irretrievably lost, making this publication an essential source on the ancient history of Ukraine.

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Physical Description

Six issues bound in one thick 4to volume. Complete with all title pages, plates captioned in Russian and French.


Contemporary brown pebble-grained morocco spine over patterned boards.


Binding minimally rubbed, the odd stain otherwise in fine condition.

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