22 June 2010
NAGAYEV, Alesksei Ivanovic (1704-1781). Atlas' vsego Baltiyskago morya s' Finskim' i Botnicheskim Zalivami, s' Shkager'-Rakom, Kategatom', Zundom', i Beltami. [Atlas of the whole Baltic Sea with the Gulfs of Finland and Bothnia, with the Skagerrak, Kattegat, the Sound and the Belts]. [St Petersburg]: For the Admiralty College at the Naval Sailing Cadet Corpus, 1757.
Large 2o (583 x 426 mm). Letterpress title, preface and index, 28 engraved sea charts on thick paper (24 double-page, 3 folding, one full-page). Contemporary boards (rebacked and recornered by James Brockman with gilt armorial crest of the Pease family in spine compartments and corners, preserving red morocco spine label, endpapers renewed). Provenance: Lord Wardington (binding, bookplate, his sale Sotheby's London, 10 Oct. 2006, lot 312).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST DETAILED RUSSIAN SURVEY OF THE BALTIC SEA BY ONE OF THE FIRST RUSSIAN HYDROGRAPHERS. Nagaev, born into an impoverished noble family of Moscow Province, entered the Naval Academy aged eleven, later becoming a teacher of navigation before turning to surveying. In 1729 he surveyed the Arkhangl'sk region in the White Sea and the following year was sent to Astrakhan' to survey the Caspian regions. He was appointed director of the Naval Academy in 1744 and supervised a systematic survey of the entire Baltic Sea between 1746 and 1752. This atlas contains detailed descriptions of the Baltic coasts as well as six charts related to Sweden and five to Denmark. The plates were engraved at the Academy of Sciences from 1752 onwards. The charts remained the most detailed Russian surveys of the Baltic until the early 19th-century.
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