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Regolamento per le corse di cavalli della Società Nazionale, Turin, Tipografia Zecchi e Bona, 1853  

Uffizi Library
Printed volume
h.16 cm
S.M. Demidoff/24, inventario 30463
Half-title page with oval stamp of origin bearing the inscription 'Bibliothèque de San Donato'. In the back of the front cover, on the top left, label with the initials 'S2'. After the General List of Members there is a handwritten interleaf of [3] pages with the name 'Demidoff, Principe Anatolio'.

This booklet on the Rules of Horse Racing, published in Turin by the Société Nationale in 1853, bears a stamp of origin from the 'Bibliothèque de San Donato' and a nicely framed label with the initials 'S2', which probably refers to the copy's location in the dispersed library of Villa Demidov in San Donato, Florence. The booklet, which testifies to Anatolij Demidov's passion for horses, is a small-format copy, elegantly bound in crimson velvet, with the metal coat of arms of the Demidov family surmounted by a crown in the centre of the front cover, bearing a stylised drawing representing the tools of mine work, which were the source of the family's immense wealth. The coat of arms appears together with the motto Facts not words, written in Russian (Delami ne slovami), which alludes to the charitable activities traditionally promoted by the family. The volume features a handwritten interleaf added to the list of members, on which the name 'Demidoff, Principe Anatolio' is written in pen. The list of members includes, among others, Camillo Benso Count of Cavour and his brother Giacomo. This work entered the Uffizi Library as a 'gift by the Demidoff family' in June 1975, after the auction of the furnishings of Villa Demidoff in Pratolino, which was arranged by the last heir of the family, Paolo Karageorgevič, in 1969.


F. Bisogni, I Demidoff in Toscana, in L’idea di Firenze. Temi e interpretazioni nell’arte straniera dell’Ottocento, Conference Proceedings, Firenze, 17-19 dicembre 1986, edited by M. Bossi, L. Tonini, Firenze, 1989, pp. 67-84; T. Orfanello, Grande e forte di muraglie. Il Monastero e la Chiesa di San Donato in Polverosa, Firenze, MCM, 2021; Sotheby’S of London, Catalogo dell’arredamento della villa Demidoff presso Firenze venduto per odine di S.A.R. il Principe Paolo di Jugoslavia. 21, 22, 23 e 24 aprile 1969 alla villa Demidoff, London, 1969.

Text by
Carla Basagni
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