RUSSIAN IMPERIAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMMISSION - NikolaiI Vanovich VESELOVSKII (1848-1918) and others
Mecheti Samarkanda ... Les Mosquées de Samarcande. Fascicule I. Gour-Emir [all published]
St. Petersburg: Expédition pour la Confection des Papiers d'État, 1905. Elephant folio. Illustrated title in Russian and French printed in red and black, dedication to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna printed in red and black, 4pp. text in two columns in Russian and French with illustrations as head-piece and tailpiece, 1p. list of plates, 18 plates (numbered I-XVIII, 12 chromolithographed, 2 double-page, one folding), after A. Shchusev, P. Poryshkin and A. Minenko.
Expertly bound to style in half black morocco and period cloth covered boards, spine gilt with raised bands
First edition, large paper en plano (i.e. unfolded) issue of an important illustrated Imperial Russian work on Islamic architecture.
An important, large-scale and ambitious undertaking by the Imperial Russian Archaeological Commission, whose work in the area prepared the ground for subsequent western studies. This fascicle, the only published, is devoted to the Gour-Emire ("Tomb of the King") mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, which to this day remains unparalleled in scale and significance. The delicacy and clarity of the chromolithographs, based on paintings made on site by the three artists, make it one of the most exquisitely printed and desirable Russian books of the Silver Age and an important work on Islamic architecture.