• The Wolfgang A. Herz Library:  auction at Christies

    Sale 2158

    The Wolfgang A. Herz Library: Important Voyages and Travels

    9 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 99

    LANGSDORFF, Georg Heinrich von (1774-1862). Bemerkungen auf einer Reise um die Welt in den Jahren 1803 bis 1807... Frankfurt: Friedrich Wilman, 1812.

    Price Realised  

    LANGSDORFF, Georg Heinrich von (1774-1862). Bemerkungen auf einer Reise um die Welt in den Jahren 1803 bis 1807... Frankfurt: Friedrich Wilman, 1812.

    2 volumes, 4o (258 x 207 mm). 2 engraved portrait frontispieces and 44 engraved plates (some light spotting). Contemporary half calf, flat spine in six compartments, gilt-lettered label in two (some light wear to spine ends, light rubbing).

    FIRST EDITION, CONTAINING THE FIRST PUBLISHED VIEW OF SAN FRANCISCO. An important account of the Russian Embassy to Japan, the Alaska fur trade and the Russian settlement in California, by one of the scientists on Krusenstern's world voyage for the Czar of Russia. Expedition ships Nadeshda and Neva investigated the Marquesas, described and illustrated in detail here and with Langsdorff's appended vocabulary of the islands. With Count Rezanov, a founder of the Russian American Company and Russian Ambassador to Japan, he sailed to Japan to open trade talks (which failed), but their stay is finely detailed and illustrated to include a voyage to Hokkaido and an appended vocabulary of the Ainu language. Langsdorff left the expedition in Kamchatka with Rezanov in 1805 and sailed for Alaska and Sitka, the site of the first Russian fort, and continued to California, the first Russian settlements at Fort Ross and San Francisco. The second volume further describes the Pribilof Islands, Unalaska, Sitka, Kodiak, the native inhabitants and the Russian American Company: "Voyage to the Aleutian Islands, and the North-West Coast of America, and return by land over the North-East Parts of Asia, through Siberia, to Petersburgh," which Sabin credits as having the fullest account of Sitka and San Francisco to date. Returning to Kamchatka, Langsdorff made his way back to St Petersburg via Yakutsk from Okhotsk, also described in detail. Borba de Moraes I, p. 455; Forbes 427; Hill 968; Kroepelien 708; Lada-Mocarski 69; Sabin 38894; Wickersham 6245. (2)


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