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RUSSIA; Moscow.

A'lbom zdaniy, prinadlezhavschih Moskovskomy gorodskomu upravleniyu. (Album of the municipal buildings of Moscow.)

Album des bâtiments municipaux de Moscou.

Moscow: P. P. Pavlov, [1912-13] Stock Code: 131502
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A remarkable photographic survey of pre-Revolution Moscow

Superb and extremely scarce photographic record of pre-Revolution Moscow, captured in a series of quite stunning images by one of the foremost Russian photographers of the period, P. P. Pavlov. An online search of institutional libraries cites 3 locations only - British Library, Harvard, and Columbia - with no copy traced on auction records.

Among the many subjects featured here are schools, hospitals, orphanages, public housing, gasworks, tram depots, abbatoirs, and administrative buildings, focusing on the progressive aspects of the city and offering a panoramic view of the Russian capital at the dawn of the 20th century. Included here are two views of Tolstoy's house (plates 51 and 52), today the Tolstoy Estate-Museum, bearing the caption "acquis par la ville" (acquired by the city), nicely dating these images to after 15 November 1912, when the Moscow municipality bought the writer's home with all its furniture for 125,000 roubles, and with the intention that the courtyard should accommodate a Tolstoy School of sixteen classes.

Pyotr Petrovich Pavlov (1860-1924) was born into a peasant family in Feodorovskaya village, Olonetsky District, Republic of Karelia, on the western fringes of Russia. In 1881 he arrived in Moscow from St. Petersburg and joined the well-established photographic studio of Scherer, Nabholz and Co., serving a ten-year apprenticeship. In 1891 Pavlov opened his own studi, specialising in individual and group portraits, famously photographing Anton Chekhov in 1899. In 1898 he was commissioned by the Imperial Moscow Archaeological Society (Imperatorskoye Moskovskoye Arkheologicheskoye Obshchestvo or IMAO) to photograph both the historical and monumental fabric of Moscow and later, as presented here, the city's fine municipal architecture. Interestingly, Pavlov was also responsible for a series of photographs recording the damage sustained by Moscow's buildings during the Bolshevik shelling of the city in 1917. His work was the subject of a 2011 exhibition at Rosphoto, Moscow, Pyotr Pavlov: Views of Old Moscow.

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Landscape folio (403 x 541 mm). Original dark reddish-brown morocco-grain skiver over bevelled boards neatly rebacked, white moire-effect endpapers, green cloth inner hinges.


240 photogravure plates printed on 220 leaves of heavy stock card (20 leaves with two plates), captions in Russian and French, studio credit of P. P. Pavlov on each mount leaf. Larger images 260 x 358 mm, smaller 200 x 272 mm.


A few scrapes and abrasions to back cover, corners a little worn, prelims a little dusty and with closed-tear at foot, 3 plates remargined, occasional marginal soiling yet a very good complete copy.


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