Moscow: self-published, 1924-1925. Octavo (23 × 15 cm). Original paper wrappers; 23,  pp. Signed and inscribed by the author to V. Arsen'ev in the year of publication. Light wear to wrappers; else very good.
Count Iurii A. Olsuf’ev (1878-1938) was a scholar of ancient Russian art and iconography, as well as a conservation specialist, who played a key role in saving ancient Russian religious art works and objects in the early Soviet period. He is perhaps best known for his work on the inventory of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, a large monastery complex seventy kilometers outside Moscow. After the October Revolution, the monastery was closed, though parts were designated as a museum, where Olsuf’ev continued his work of documenting, describing, and researching the many riches held by the lavra, such as the miniatures in the monastery library or various decorative and sacral objects. He was one of the founders of the science of icon restoration and played a leading role in the restoration of the famous “Trinity” icon by Andrei Rublev. Ultimately, much of the collection was stolen and sold, and the lavra was only returned to the Russian Orthodox Church after World War II. In 1939, Olsuf’ev himself fell victim to the Great Purge: he was arrested and shot for distributing anti-Soviet rumors. As early as 1925 he had first been accused of counter-revolutionary activities, and was temporarily imprisoned as well as the subject of a public campaign against him. Olsuf’ev descended from Count Vasilii Olsuf’ev (1796-1858), a veteran of the War of 1812 and close confidant of Alexander II. The catalogs are scarce, having been printed in very small print runs, in this case just 100 copies. Signed and inscribed by Olsuf'ev, apparently to the Soviet explorer, ethnographer, and writer, Vladimir Klavdievich Arsen'ev (1872-1930), who devoted much of his life to studying the cultures of the Russian Far East. KVK, OCLC show copies at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and Yale.
Book ID: P4959