In April of 2018 we informed about the presentation of the Publishing House Manuscriptum-produced facsimile copy of Count Wacław Emir Rzewuski’s manuscript of “Sur les Chevaux Orientaux et Provenants des Races Orientales”, one of the most important works in the history of Polish literature. The facsimile copy – that is, an exact replica – of the manuscript’s third volume, widely accepted as the most beautiful and colourful, was created using the same methods as 200 years ago, when the original had been written. The event was one of the highlights of the 28th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (UAE).
To paraphrase the Publishing House Manuscriptum’s Artur Sobolewski, the man behind the idea for the manuscript’s facsimile copy, the process was designed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Emir Rzewuski’s journey to Arabia. “I deal quite often with the numismatic sector in which anniversaries are extremely important events,” explains Sobolewski. “Thus the decision to publish the facsimile copy of the manuscript at this particular time. We were in a hurry to present it in Abu Dhabi, as Poland was the Guest of Honor of this year’s edition of the Fair. We wanted to host the preview showing then and there.” But the manuscript’s official premiere will be held on August 12th in Janów Podlaski on the day of Janów’s auction. “This is a long-term project which we intend to finalize during the Expo 2020 Dubai, which will coincide with the 200th anniversary of Emir Rzewuski’s return to his home country,” announces Sobolewki. By 2020’s event the publishing house will have produced 200 commercial and 20 collector’s copies, the latter ones intended for auctions or exclusive gifts.
The price of one copy exceeds 10,000 Euro. The process of making an exact replica is time-consuming – not only the facsimile faithfully recreates the detail-oriented source material, including maps and illustrations hand-drawn by Rzewuski himself, but it is also rich in colours and textures, with a cover adorned with gems and gold. The facsimile copy is definitely a collector’s item and does not try to rival the manuscript’s reprint produced by the National Library of Poland. Though the reprint is supplemented with an academic commentary, it does not include the illustrations and maps reproduced in their original form, whereas the facsimile should be indistinguishable from the original manuscript.
State Studs in Janów Podlaski, Michałów and Białka are the premiere’s patrons.