Printed for Edward Orme. London. 1815, 1815.
FIRST EDITION. Folio (469 x 310 mm). Late 19th-century dark brown morocco-grain half skiver professionally refurbished, marbled sides, gilt edges, drab grey endpapers. Additional engraved title page (incorporating a large double-headed Russian eagle), 20 hand coloured aquatint plates by Clark & Dubourg after Mornay; watermarks: plates J. Whatman 1825, text W. Balston 1813. From the library of noted bibliophiles Maxine and Joel Spitz, with their "Trail Tree" bookplate (Joel Spitz was a member of Chicago's prestigious Caxton Club). Light offsetting from frontispiece to engraved title. An excellent copy, the plates fresh and bright, and with the four leaves of explanation of the plates (in French and English). ------- Published at six guineas coloured, this is a superb record of the city of Peter the Great - captured in the wake of the Napoleonic wars - and divided into two sections; the first 12 plates represent the months of the year through characteristic views of the city; the other eight illustrate different modes of transport, various types of sledges and carriages, but include excellent character studies, showing diverse types of costume by class and by season. The 26-page introduction entitled "The present state of St. Petersburgh," includes a brief historical survey and a few statistics, along with descriptions of the main sites and monuments. "Though unsigned, [the letterpress] was chiefly compiled from Robert Ker Porter's Travelling Sketches [in Russia and Sweden during the years 1805–1808], as many sections repeat his text verbatim" (Vincent Giroud, St. Petersburg: A Portrait of a Great City, 2003, p.72). ----- Abbey, Travel, 226; Bobins Collection 203; Tooley 355.