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    Sale 7472

    Valuable Russian Books and Manuscripts

    29 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 139

    SARYCHEV, Gavriil Andreevich (1763-1831). Puteshestvie Flota Kapitana Sarycheva po severovostochnoi chasti Sibiri, Ledovitnomu moriu i Vostochnomu okeanu. [The Journey of Fleet-Captain Sarychev through the Northeastern Regions of Siberia, the Arctic Sea and the Pacific Ocean]. St. Petersburg: Shnor, 1802.

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    SARYCHEV, Gavriil Andreevich (1763-1831). Puteshestvie Flota Kapitana Sarycheva po severovostochnoi chasti Sibiri, Ledovitnomu moriu i Vostochnomu okeanu. [The Journey of Fleet-Captain Sarychev through the Northeastern Regions of Siberia, the Arctic Sea and the Pacific Ocean]. St. Petersburg: Shnor, 1802.

    2 vols: text, 2 parts in 1 vol. 4° (248 x 195mm) and atlas, 2° (455 x 300mm). Text: engraved title-vignette, folding table; atlas 49 (of 51) mostly double-page engravings including the large folding map of Alaska with the printed legend, by Ivan and Konstantin Cheskii, Khudiakov, I. Telegin and A. Ekimov. (Text: faint marginal dampstain, occasional light spotting, table with tears and some repairs; atlas: light marginal soiling). Text: contemporary calf, morocco labels on spine (front joint starting, rubbed, lacking ties); atlas: contemporary red half-calf and marbled boards, spine blind-tooled (spine worn with ends chipped, extremities rubbed). Buckram chemises and slipcases.

    FIRST EDITION OF THE VERY RARE ACCOUNT OF SARYCHEV'S EXPLORATION OF THE RUSSIAN NORTH PACIFIC. It is the earliest substantial scientific account of the Aleutians and part of the Alaska coast, and THE ATLAS CONSTITUTES THE MOST IMPORTANT ICONOGRAPHY AND CARTOGRAPHY OF ALASKA UP TO ITS TIME. Nearly all of the second part of the text volume relates to Unalaska, and also includes important linguistic material on the dialect of Russian America. The expedition was sponsored by Catherine II and led by Joseph Billings who had accompanied Captain Cook on his third voyage. The party sailed from Okhotsk in 1787 with Billings piloting 'Pallas' and Sarychev at the helm of 'The Glory of Russia'. In addition to charting the Siberian coastline and regions, Sarychev was charged with asserting Catherine's sovereignty in the area and assuring locals of her protection. Bagrow clarifies the considerable confusion in previous scholarship about the number of plates in the atlas. Most extant copies are imperfect, and variations in the paper-stock and the print quality suggest that the atlas may have been issued in parts. Complete copies are extremely rare. According to ABPC and JAP this appears to be the only copy sold at auction in over 30 years. Bagrow, A History of Russian Cartography up to 1800, pp.229-232, 252; Howes S115; Lada-Mocarski 57 ('this is one of the FUNDAMENTAL AND VERY RARE early books on the Aleutian Islands'); Obol'ianinov 2406; Pilling 3488; Sabin 77173; Whittaker, Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825, p.101. (2)


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