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Snegirev I.M. Monuments of the Moscow antiquity. Moscow, 1842-1845.

Monuments of the Moscow antiquity, with a sketch of monumental history of Moscow, oldest views and plans of ancient capital. The work by Ivan Mihajlovich Snegirev, member of the Imperial society of history and antiquities of Russia. With three plans of Moscow, 23 coloured plates after designs by academician F.G. Solntsev and 18 engraved plates. The edition of August of Simeon, devoted to Emperor Nikolas I. Moscow, in a printing house of August of Simeon, 1842-1845, 2 title leaves, [1], II, [4], 6, IV, CXII, 2, 358, 28, IV, II p.p. + [2] leaves. With 3 plans of Moscow and 41 mostly h/c plts., engraved by Afanasev A.A., Scotnikov Е.О., Tromonin K.J. and H. Moulin after F.G. Solntsov. A part of plates printed in Tromonin’s printing-house in St.-Petersburg, and №№ 6, 8, 9, 11-20, 23-28 and 30 — Engelman’s printing-house in Paris. Contemporary red morocco, covers and spine are richly gilt, white watered-silk endpapers, borders, all edges gilt. N.P. Khitrov’s Bindery in Moscow. Format: 30х22,5 cm. Copy on a thick paper from Ouvaroff Alexey Sergeevich's (1825-1884) library, the known Russian archeologist and the founder of Moscow Archeologic Society (МАО), the author of the monography «Research of antiquities of southern Russia and coast of Black Sea», 2 v.v., Sankt-Petersbourg, 1851. Fine copy!

Snegirev, Ivan Mikhailovich (1792 — 1868), a professor of the Moscow University, prominent ethnographer and archaeologist, son of Mikhail Matveevich Snegirev, a professor of the same University. After his home education, in 1802, he was admitted to the academic gymnasium at the University; then, he was admitted as a student in 1807 and as a candidate in 1810. Snegirev gained the primary fundamentals of his education and general guideline at the school of philology from professors Boule, Matei and Timkovskiy. This school gave him a strong method for his scientific studies. In 1815, Ivan Mikhailovich received the master degree in philological sciences and in the following year he was appointed as a lecturer at the chair of Roman philology and antiquities of the Moscow University. Under the influence of his classical teachers, Snegirev got so interested in Latin language that he looked for people to speak Latin and initiated his correspondence in Latin with academician Fren. And his first scientific works were written in Latin language in the field of classical philology. Soon he published his Latin Grammar (the third edition was published in 1836). This was the end of his interest in classics. As to his official career, he became a lecturer in 1816, junior assistant in 1819, extraordinary professor at the chair of Latin language in 1826, soon he became an ordinary professor, in which position he remained until 1836. At that time, he also taught Russian philology at the gymnasium of the Moscow House of Education (from 1817 to 1827); in 1828, he was appointed as a censor. But Ivan Mikhailovich was interested since his young years in the field of Moscow antiquities and Russian antiquities in general. In 1820, he was elected as a member of the Society of Amateurs of Russian Philology and in the sessions of this Society he read his reports on his archaeological and ethnographical studies with respect to Russian proverbs, holidays and superstitions. In 1827, he was elected as a member of the Moscow Society of History and Antiquities and for seven years remained the secretary of this Society. Therefore, from the very early 1820s, his interests as a researcher were concentrated in the field of Russian ethnography, which did not exist as a science at that time. There were neither scientific approaches nor preparatory works (i. e., precursors). His works were successful and by early 1830s he prepared his famous work Russians in Their Proverbs in four volumes with endless comments. Emperor Nicholas I highly appreciated this work of Snegirev, who returned several times to this study with new explanations and additions. However, he expanded the field of his studies and paid attention to the folk holidays, superstitious rites and even cheap popular prints. In 1836, he was discharged from the office of professor when the University was reorganised in accordance with the regulations of 1835. From this moment, Snegirev fully devoted himself to his favourite works in archaeology and ethnography. Thus, from 1837 to 1839, he published his second famous work Russian Folk Festivals and Superstitious Rites in four issues.

In 1840, the Academy of Sciences awarded the Demidov Prize to the author for his work. As in his study of proverbs, the abundant materials were collected here by live personal observation and trips to people. For this work, Snegirev received a diamond signet-ring from Emperor Nicholas I. From early 1840s, Ivan Mikhailovich got interested in monumental antiquities, old Russian art and especially old monuments of Moscow City and Region, we can say he became a «singer of old Moscow» and did not change his interest to the end of his life. In 1844, he published his third famous work Cheap Popular Prints. And here he was the first to make the way. He started his study of Russian cheap popular prints already in 1822. Soon after this work Snegirev was engaged in publication of the Antiquities of Russian State, which were issued since 1846 by the highest order of Emperor Nicholas I. These issues included six separate books of text and 508 chromolithoghraphed tables demonstrating the pieces of old Russian art. For this publication, he wrote the text to issues I, IV, and V. The illustrations were made by artist and archaeologist F.G. Solntsev (1801 — 1892). His water colours displayed with accuracy of jewellery the state power symbols, weapons, costumes of grand prince, gentry and king, monuments of old Russian architecture. As we know, this publication was terminated in 1853. It is not by chance that Snegirev was authorised to describe the «Antiquities of the Russian State». As an old resident of Moscow and greatest expert of old Moscow, all his life he brought up his love in study of Moscow antiquities and history of Russian everyday life in general. Nobody of scientists knew so well as he all the aspects of the old metropolis, nobody visited and studied so well to the tiniest details the churches and monasteries of Moscow. When it was resolved to restore the so-called Romanov chambers, they first of all called Snegirev as an expert of antiquities. For these works, he was awarded the first-degree Stanislav Order by the Emperor. As to publication of the «Monuments of Moscow antiquity», for issue of this book Moscow Governor General Prince D. Golitsyn granted a significant amount. This is a rather interesting study containing the detailed description of cathedral and parish churches as well as church historical antiquities of Moscow. Like in the «Antiquities of the Russian State», the same tandem of Snegirev and Solntsev, very strict casting of the team of engravers and lithographers, high-quality printing in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Paris guaranteed the success of the undertaken issue.

Reference literature:
1. N.B. «Russian rare books», Moscow, 1902, №561.
2. Burtsev A.E. «A detailed bibliographical description of rare and remarkable Russian books», Saint-Petersburg, 1901, Vol. V, №1890.
3. N.V. Solovyov’s antique-shop. Catalogue №100 «Livres Rares», Saint-Petersburg, 1910, № 243, 100 roubles!
4. N. Obol’yaninov «Russian Illustrated Books», №2508.

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