[Nikolaev, the 1870s].  pp. 6x11 cm. Original illustrated boards. Unbound as issued.
An album of engravings published in the southern town of Nikolaev. At the time, Nikolaev served as the center of both the ship construction of the Russian Empire and the governance of the Black Sea Fleet. Built around the wharf at the end of the 18th century, Nikolaev was at the height of its importance in the 1870s, the city boasted an observatory and several clubs. All of this is showcased in the album.
This particular copy stands off for its inscription, according to which William George Wagstaff gifted the album to his female friend in October 1877. William George Wagstaff was in charge of the British Consulate in Berdyansk and Ekaterinoslav, overseeing Southern Ukraine. The album is replete with his notes, in which he gives translations of the titles of buildings and landmarks from Russian to English, as well as comments on the structure and customs. The front cover features Wagstaff’s handwriting: Album of Nikolaev.
A masterpiece of the local typographic production and a vivid insight into one of the most important provinces of the time.