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Chasovnik - Kazakh Old Believer Book of Hours.

Uralsk [Oral], Kazakhstan: Andrey Vasilievich Simakov, 1907 Stock Code: 124800
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First edition, uncommon, no copy traced on WorldCat. A superb example in the elaborate provincial publisher's binding. Following the enactment of Nicholas II's ukase On Tolerance Development in 1905, which lightened strictures on the observances of the Old Believers, Uralsk merchant Andrey Vasillievich Simakov established the first publishing house legal producing Old Believer texts. The area had long been a centre for Starovéry communities and by 1910 the enterprise had expanded to a workforce of 70, manning 6 presses. A striking piece, and a wonderful survival, this copy was purchased from a Russian emigrant family in Florida.

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Quarto (218 x 173 mm). Original reddish-brown morocco, bevelled boards, yellowish -brown morocco label, low bands with repeated zigzag roll in gilt, foliate lozenges to the compartments with similar cornerpieces, elaborate concentric panelling in gilt and blind to both boards, metal bosses to the lower, brass hook-clasps cast with the publisher's name, on leather straps, all edges gilt and gauffered, white moiré effect endpapers.


Engraved head- and tailpieces, text rubricated.


A little rubbed with some cracking on the joints, now judiciously restored, one clasp lacking the angled hook, some soiling and toning to the text-block throughout, the lower right-hand corners in particular showing varying degrees of finger-soiling, mild damp-stain to the fore-edge towards the rear, affecting about 20 leaves, some colour transfer from the binding barely encroaching on the margins, remains very good and handsome.


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