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Polozheniye o pereformirovanii armeyskoy kavalerii (Regulations on the Reformation of the Cavalry).

St Petersburg: Voyennoi typografia (Military Press), 1833 Stock Code: 133891
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First and only edition, genuinely scarce, a single copy traced to the Russian Presidential Library. A handsomely presented volume, a contribution towards Nicholas I's efforts at far-reaching reform of the army, a volume which would have had minimal distribution among those directly involved in the administration. This copy identified, by the gilt-stamped supralibros and pencilled press-marks, as having come from Nicholas I's English-style Cottage Palace and home farm estate Aleksandriya. To the east of the main park of the Peterhof, this area of landscaped parkland and it's complex of intimate "family" architecture was created, and named, for Nicholas's wife Alexandra Fedorovna who found the pomp and protocol of court life oppressive, and was to become the permanent summer residence for the Tsar's family.

Nicholas viewed himself as a soldier - " I shall always hold the title of soldier in the highest esteem. I regard human life as service because everybody must serve" - but the effectiveness of Nicholas's military policies has been subject to considerable debate, concluding as they did in the terrible failures of the Crimean War. In his detailed study of the subject Frederick Kagan, argues that perhaps the most important effect of Nicholas's efforts was the provision of an effective base for Milyutin's sweeping reforms of the 60s and 70s (The Military Reforms of Nicholas I; The Origins of the Modern Russian Army). An extremely attractive association, the Tsar's own handsomely presented copy of a work presenting a vital part of the central reforms of his reign, those with which he most closely identified.

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Octavo (197 x 130 mm). Contemporary dark green textured sheep publisher's binding - signed at the tail of the spine - title gilt direct to spine, gilt devices in compartments, elaborate panelling in gilt and blind to the front board, large gilt cornerpieces incorporating drawer-handle and rosette tools, centre-tool of the Russian Imperial eagle grasping a flaming torch, laurel wreath and thunder arrows, gilt stamp of the estate "Alexandria" within the panels, lower board with large embossed centre panel incorporating foliate scrolls, zigzag edge-roll gilt around the corners, all edges gilt, dotted zigzag floral roll to the turn-ins, pale moderate blue surface paper endpapers with anthemium rolled panel in blind.


Numerous tables to the text.


Neat repair to the joints and hinges, slight discolouration of the endpapers at the gutter, two faint ink stamps, fore-corner of the rear free endpaper restored, else very good.


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