Mémoires sur les Lépidoptères.

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Rédigés par N.M. Romanoff. Tomes I-VII & IX. St. Pétersbourg 1884-1897. 8 volumes. 4to (295 x 185mm). pp. (8), 181; (6), 262; (6), 419; xvii, 575, (2); (6) 248; (4), 700, (2); (8), lvi, 658, (2); (4), 365, (1), with 130 engraved plates of which 70 finely hand-coloured, some figures in the text and 3 (of 4) coloured maps. Recent half calf, spines with gilt lettering.

fundamental contributions on the butterflies of regions of the Russian Empire and Asia

This excellently illustrated work is one of the rarest publications on Lepidoptera. It was published in a very limited edition, and the number of plates which are coloured vary in most of the copies. Copies with all the plates coloured exist but mostly copies are found with less than 70 plates coloured. The monographs included are fundamental contributions on the butterflies of regions of the Russian Empire and Asia, by specialists as the Grand Duke Nicolai Michailovitch Romanoff himself, Christoph, Staudinger, Snellen, Grum-Grshimaïlo, Heylarts and others.
Amongst others the work comprises large monographs as: N.M. Romanoff, Les Lépidoptères de la Transcaucasie; H. Christoph, Lépidoptera aus dem Achal-Tekke Gebiet; Gr. Groum-Grshimaïlo, Le Pamir et sa faune Lépidoptérologique; S. Alphéraky, Lépidoptères rapportés de la Chine et de la Mongolie par G.N. Potanine; E.L. Ragonol, Monographie des Phycitinae et des Galleriinae.
As usual, the 8th volume is not included; it is excessively rare since this volume was destroyed by fire shortly after publication and only a very few copies have been distributed. A few plates of the 4th volume have the outer margin cut short, 2 with a tiny loss of illustration. It is unusual to find a copy with all 4 maps. Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich Romanoff was born on 26 April 1859 at Tsarskoye Selo, the eldest child of the seven children of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia and his wife Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna. He was the only naturalist of the Czar family. He was later imprisoned by the Bolsheviks in Petrograd and shot outside the St Peter and St Paul Fortress on 28 january 1919.

Provenance: name of Kikumaro Okano on inside frontcover.

Junk, Bibl. Lepidopterologica 2268; Nissen ZBI, 4678