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© Darya Repnikova
© Darya Repnikova
© Darya Repnikova
© Darya Repnikova

Leonid Kolpakhchiev

Leonid Kolpakhchiev Bookbinder
Russian, English
By appointment only
+7 9119002577
© Darya Repnikova

The Russian bibliophile

  • • Leonid's smallest book is 50mm in height
  • • Over 40 years he has created around 200 typeface sets
  • • He is a cofounder of the Russian Union of Bibliophiles

Leonid Kolpakhchiev came to bookbinding unintentionally. Back in the Soviet era, when he was working as a graphic designer for the Lensoviet Palace of Culture in St. Petersburg, a colleague asked Leonid for help. They had discovered some precious books in a wastepaper pile and did not have the heart to just send them to be recycled. Leonid's bond with bookbinding was immediate and strong. He went on not only to restore old books for the Russian National Library and the St. Petersburg Ecclesiastical Academy, but also to create elaborate book covers to order, using exotic skin, leather stamping and metal embossing. Since 2000, Leonid has also been making miniature books to nationwide acclaim; around 80 of his creations are now part of the Library In a Suitcase display at the Russian Lefty Museum in St. Petersburg.

Read the full interview


  • © Darya Repnikova
  • © Darya Repnikova
  • © Darya Repnikova
  • © Darya Repnikova
Photo: © Darya Repnikova
Small book of The World of Art

This miniature two-volume edition of The World of Art was created with reproductions of vignettes, headpieces, tailpieces and initials of Russian artists of the early 20th century. Mir iskusstva, The World of Art, was a magazine founded in 1899 in St. Petersburg.

Length 9 cm
Height 9 cm

Photo: © Darya Repnikova
Alexander the First by Nikolai Karlovich Schilder

Leonid worked on the restoration of this old book on Alexander the First by Nikolai Karlovich Schilder, working on the binding, the gold stamping and colour embossing. The finishing touches of the book are hand painted, with appliqué detail.

Length 30 cm
Height 30 cm

Photo: © Darya Repnikova
Selected books

Leonid worked on the decoration of a series of books, marbling the edges of each leather bound book with colourful stone-like designs.

Photo: © Darya Repnikova
Michael Solomon by S. Tresser

Leonid fitted this printed illustration to a copy of S. Tresser’s Michael Solomon. A spread of a large-format illustration in the book was created by a prominent book illustrator of the early 20th century.

Length 15 cm
Height 20 cm

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