(4), xxxxvi, 820 p. Folio, H. 33 x W. 28 x D. 10 cm. With a steel-engraved title and 136 fine steel-engraved plates on mounts by J. v. Poppel, J.M. Kolb, J. Richter, (a.o.), all under tissue guards. Original dark blue velvet binding over wooden boards with imposed pressed calfskin decorations in Neo-Gothic style on both sides and the spine, anchored at the corners with gauffered copper crosses. The same crosses are applied as decoration to the two brass clasps. The inner corners are lined up with blue silk and the endpapers with off-white moiré silk. The richly decorated edges are bordered with a floral design in green and red with partly recessed and gauffered golden lines and tendrils. The double hand-stitched capitals are executed in soft brown and ecru natural silk. The crowned initial ‘AP’ surrounded by a laurel wreath and the royal coat of arms indicates that the binding was specially made for Queen of the Netherlands, ANNA PAULOWNA. At the backside the coat of arms of William II in alliance with that of the House Romanov. That this is not only luxurious but also a very special and unique edition is not only shown by its size of 330 x 280 mm (the original edition was 230 x 150 mm). Moreover, the text pages have a frame printed in blue with a vine motif. The binder is probably the Parisian Atelier of Gruel, where we have found both similar cuts and the pressed calfskin decorations. (Overall in outstanding condition, only missing two small pieces of decoration and a small open spot at the front. The lack of a dedication page makes it difficult to correctly identify the offering and its timing, so that calls for further study of the time and circumstances that this unique binding was presented to the Queen.) Anna Pavlovna of Russia (Russian: Анна Павловна) 18 January 1795 – 1 March 1865) was a queen consort of the Netherlands by marriage to King William II of the Netherlands. She was a Russian patriot who upheld a strict royal etiquette in The Netherlands, where she never felt at home, and identified more like an Imperial Russian Grand Duchess than a Dutch queen. She had no political influence but was active within the charity. Anna Pavlovna was born in 1795 at Gatchina Palace, the eighth child and sixth daughter of Paul I of Russia and Empress Maria Feodorovna (born Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg), and thus was Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia. Her father became emperor in 1796 and was deposed and killed in 1801 when she was six years old. Anna Pavlovna’s brother Alexander succeeded to the throne. Anna was raised by her mother at the summer residence of the Romanovs, Tsarskoye Selo. She spent her childhood there with two younger brothers, Nicholas (1796–1855) and Michael (1798–1849). Anna was tutored by the Swiss governess Louise de Sybourg and received a broad education, including foreign languages (Russian, German and French) and mathematics. She was good at handicrafts and painting. Anna had a good relationship with her brother, the emperor Alexander, but she was closest to her mother and to her two younger brothers, the future emperor Nicholas and Michael, with whom she was to correspond by letters her whole life after leaving Russia. After the death of her mother in 1828, she came to rely greatly on Nicholas, who responded by giving her all sorts of favors when he became emperor in 1825. She had a fairly good relationship with her sister Maria, but the relationship between Anna and her sister Catherine (Ekaterina) was never a good one. On 21 February 1816 at the Chapel of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, she married the Prince of Orange, who would later become King William II of the Netherlands. The marriage had been suggested by her brother Tsar Alexander I in 1815, as a symbol of the alliance created after the Congress of Vienna. Since Peter the Great had decided that no member of the Romanov family should be forced to marry against their will, William was invited to Russia before the wedding so that Anna could get to know him and consent to marry him, which she did, as she was pleased with him, except his birth, which she considered inferior to hers. At the time of their marriage, it was agreed that Prince Willem’s children should be raised as Protestants, although Anna herself remained Russian Orthodox. Alexander Pushkin celebrated the marriage in a special poem entitled To the Prince of Orange. The couple remained in Russia for one year. She was given a dowry of one million rubel, and her governess Bourcis accompanied her to The Netherlands. On 7 October 1840, on the abdication of her father-in-law William I of the Netherlands, she became queen consort of the Netherlands and was crowned in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. Anna attended his coronation in a dress of silver cloth. As queen, Anna was described as dignified, proud, and distant toward the public: she was never to be a popular queen, but it was not her goal to become popular with the public, rather be respected for having performed her role in accordance to duty. She valued ceremonial court etiquette and royal representation, and the Dutch court was reportedly given more of a “royal allure” than before. Anna Pavlovna was described as a tall, stately woman with a majestic appearance: proud and always identifying with her rank as an Imperial Grand Duchess, she never gave up her Imperial rank and was a strict follower of etiquette and ceremony. Anna was acknowledged to be a talented and intelligent person who quickly mastered a new language as well as being well informed and with a clear understanding of contemporary politics. She was also a strong-willed character with a heated temperament, which could cause outbursts and result in her refusing to leave her rooms for days, referred to as her “nerves”. She was also deeply devoted to her mother and her two younger brothers and their family affairs. Anna Pavlovna corresponded with her mother and brothers in Russia, treasured the memory of her birth country, and remained a strong Russian patriot her entire life, and it has been said of her that she remained a Russian Grand Duchess more than she ever became Queen of the Netherlands. She had a Russian Orthodox private chapel in her private quarters and had her priest and Russian choir boys serve her. She kept her Orthodox religion and continued to live following Russian customs and sometimes appeared in Russian national costume. Her correspondence as well as the diary of her courtier baron Mackay van Ophemert illustrated that she was well informed and with clear political opinions, though she was never involved in politics nor did she express any political views in public. King William was taken ill and died in March 1849. Anna was present with her son the crown prince. The sudden death of William was reportedly a shock for Anna. He died with large debts. Anna was forced to sell some of her possessions to keep her preferred residence, the Soestdijk Palace. As a queen dowager, Anna left the royal palace, retired from court life, and lived a private life. Her relationship with her son King William III was always tense and she once said contemptuously about him that he was happy to be a king of a constitutional empire. She did not get along with her daughter-in-law and niece Sophie, whom her son had married against her will. She was the daughter of the sister she liked the least, Catherine. Allegedly Anna was jealous of Catherine’s beauty and status as their mother’s favorite child. She had a better relationship with her two younger children, but as they were abroad her last years were lonely. She considered returning to Russia after a conflict with her son in 1855, but in the end, she did not. Anna died 1 March 1865. Literature: A.W. Hansen: Gesloten Boeken. De Haag 2003, Museum van het Boek. p. 61 nr. 19 / Tiele 1086. / www.koninklijkhuis.nl/expositie / A.Bydzovsky, O. Horn, E. Ludwig – Zierschnitte, Vorlage. Gera, 1888. Verlag von Horn & Patzelt.