26 September 2002
FABIAN GOTTLIEB VON BELLINGSHAUSEN (1778-1852)
Atlas K'Puteshestuyu Kapitana Bellingsgauzena v Yuzhnom Ledovitom Okeana I vo Krug Sveta 1819 1820 I 1821. [Atlas to the Voyage of Captain Bellinghausen in the South Antarctic Ocean and around the World in 1819, 1820 and 1821]. St.Petersburg: 1831. Oblong 2° (450 x 545mm.). Engraved title and contents list, 63 (of 64) maps, charts and plates (comprising: 18 engraved maps and charts, 45 lithographic plates and coastal profiles). (Lacking general track chart, repair to margins of title and contents leaf, repaired 6 inch tear to the first plate, repaired holes to last two plates and one map, old dampstain to three maps and two plates, some spotting). Contemporary half-calf (neat repair to upper hinge).
This very rare atlas volume was published to accompany Bellinghausen's two-volume account of his voyage, published in St.Petersburg in 1831. Rosove, noting that the atlas is 'Very rare', records only two copies: the present example, and the Royal Geographical Society copy. With the R.G.S. copy the large general track map is 'stored separately', i.e. in both copies the large map is not bound in.
Hill describes Bellnghasuen's expedition as 'One of thge greatest of the voyages to the South Seas and the Antarctic.... Bellingshausen, in command of the Vostok and the Mirny, discovered certain of the South Sandwich Islands, Peter I Island and Alexander I Island; the latter two were the first sightings of land within the Antarctic Circle. Bellinghausen had been an officer on Kruzenshtern's circumnavigation of the globe in 1803, and later became governor of Kronstadt'.
Rosove writes of the present atlas: 'The illustrations of native peoples and Antarctic wildlife are beautifully executed. the fine and accurate topographical sketches were made by the artist Mikhailov and were still being used by the British Admiralty one hundred years after their publication. Rosove 32.A1 ("Very rare"); cf.Spence 116. (63)
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