Extensive ethnography of the peoples of the Caucasus

ZICHY, Eugene [Jenő], Dr. Jean [Janos] JANKO and Dr. Bela POSTA

Kaukaìzuri eìs Közeìpaìzsiai utazaìsai. Voyages au Caucase et en Asie Centrale : La Migration de la race Hongroise [et] La Description des collections

Publication: V. Hornyanszky for G. Ranschburg, Budapest, 1897.

ZICHY, Eugene [Jenő], Dr. Jean [Janos] JANKO and Dr. Bela POSTA, Kaukaìzuri eìs Közeìpaìzsiai utazaìsai. Voyages au Caucase et en Asie Centrale : La Migration de la race Hongroise [et] La Description des collections

Fine copy of this great scholarly work on the population of the Caucasus, richly illustrated. First edition.

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First edition of this unusual work on the ethnography and culture of the peoples of Caucasus and Central Asia.

An important scientific text richly illustrated; an attractive, fresh example.

Count Eugen [Jenő] Zichy (1837–1906) belonged to a celebrated noble Hungarian family. Having inherited his father Edmund’s wealth and notable collections, he passionately dedicated all his free time to historical research.

He was especially interested in the origins of his nation. Since one of the old tribes in the Caucasus was called Zikhi, Eugène was convinced that the roots of his family were to be found in that region. He organised at his own expense three scientific expeditions to Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus to find evidence supporting his theory. The expeditions included respected scholars that undertook ethnographical and cultural survey of the visited territories. In recognition of Zichy’s contributions to science he was made an Honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1899.

The present work, which Zichy dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, contains findings of the first two expeditions undertaken in 1895–96, and the analysis of a large collection of artefacts, which Zichy donated to the National Museum of Hungary.

The first volume, due to Dr. Janko from the National Museum, focuses on the variety of the population of the Caucasus and a bit Central Asia. He summarises the physical characteristics as well as all aspects of the local way of life and traditions. In a second part Janko details in great length Count Zichy’s ethnographical collection, which also covers Central Asian regions such as Samarkand and Bukhara. The peoples studied are wide-ranging and include, among others, several Turkish peoples, all Georgian ethnic groups, Chechens, Jews etc. Janko’s introduction lists a good bibliography on the subject.

The second volume is written by Dr. Posta, also from the Museum, and is devoted to the archaeological findings in the Caucasus. It describes Zichy’s artefacts and elaborates on the history of the local peoples.

Both volumes are richly illustrated to show the various peoples, their costumes, everyday objects such as carpets, swords and horse accessories, dwellings and tools, historical buildings, jewelry and archaeological findings.

A luxury production of the Hungarian presses, here in a choice example bound in red morocco.


Assay Office Library, Birmingham (small stamp to upper fly-leaves).

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Physical Description

Two volumes 4to (30.7 x 24.2 cm). Title in French (with half-title in French and Hungarian to recto), title in Hungarian, illustrated dedication leaf, index leaf, L pp. incl. introduction title, blank leaf, 322 pp. incl. part title, with CXXI plates on 111 leaves; titles as in vol.1, pp. [325]-613 pp. incl. part title, colophon leaf, with XXVIII pl. — in all 139 plates and many illustrations in text, including many photographic reproductions, some plates folding, text in parallel Hungarian and French.


Original publisher’s wrappers printed on card bound at end in contemporary half crushed red morocco over pebble-grained red cloth, spines with raised bands lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt.


Binding very minimally marked, wrappers and one or two leaves a bit soiled, otherwise in excellent, fresh condition.

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