Exceptional 'Exemplaire No. 1'

VASILI, Count Paul [pseudonym of Catherine RADZIWILL]

La Sainte Russie

Publication: Firmin-Didot, Paris, 1890.

VASILI, Count Paul [pseudonym of Catherine RADZIWILL], La Sainte Russie

Superb copy n°1 of this classic work – in full morocco signed by Ritter, printed on Japon, with a unique dedication to the Tsar and his ownerships marks.

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Our Notes & References

Exceptional example, in superb condition: Tsar Alexander III’s copy, numbered 1 of only 75 on papier japon, presented by the publisher in an excellent, signed, full blue morocco binding with the Russian eagle stamped in gilt.

Housed in the Anichkov palace on St. Petersburg’s famous Nevsky prospekt, it was then discarded by the Hermitage as duplicate.

This richly illustrated panorama of Russia was possibly written by the Russo-Polish Princess Catherine Radziwill, who was born Countess Ekaterina Adamovna Rzewuska in 1858 in St Petersburg and who died in New York in 1941 as the widow Catherine Kolb-Danvin.

We were not aware of any copy on papier japon before handling this one.


Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, Tsar Alexander III (printed dedication by the publisher, ink stamp with his monogramme to title); Anichkov Palace, St. Petersburg (ink stamp); Hermitage Library (ink stamp marking the copy as duplicate); French collection in the early 2000s, onto a French dealer from whom PYRB acquired the book in 2019; private Austrian collection.


Lipperheide Kaa 75; Vicaire 969.

Item number



Physical Description

Large 4to. Printed dedication leaf to the Tsar, wood engraved portrait frontispiece, title, preface, 550, [1] pp., one folding map and 2 plans with printed tissue guards, 4 chromolithograph plates with printed tissue guards and 197 wood engravings in text after various artists, including 37 full- and double-page.


Full crushed blue morocco by Ritter, gilt eagle in centre of both covers, spine with raised bands lettered in gilt, turn-ins richly gilt, silk endpapers, all edges gilt, silk bookmark.


Excellent internally, binding only minimally rubbed and lightly darkened around edges.

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