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KRUSENSTERN, Adam Johann von.

Voyage autour du monde, fait dans les années 1803, 1804, 1805 et 1806,

par les ordres de sa majesté impériale Alexandre Ier, empereur de Russie, sur les vaisseux la Nadiejeda et la Neva.

Paris: Gide fils, 1821 Stock Code: 143059
£25,000.00
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A beautiful set with the rare atlas

First edition in French of the first Russian circumnavigation, one of the most significant Pacific voyages after Cook, presented here in superior condition in a choice period binding, complete with the rare atlas of plates, "very important and difficult to obtain" (Hill). A highly desirable set.

Krusenstern (Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern, 1770-1846) had served in the British Navy between 1793 and 1799. He was given command of the two-ship expedition under "a brilliant corps of officers" (Hill), intended to establish trade with China and Japan, facilitate trade in South America, and examine California for a possible colony. His expedition encompassed the Canary Islands, Brazil, the Marquesas, Kamschatka, Nagasaki, Sakhalin, and Macao. "The voyage made a significant contribution to the knowledge of the hydrography of the Pacific coast of North America Krusenstern took the first Russian embassy of Nikolai Rezanov to Japan" (Howgego).

The first edition, published at St. Petersburg between 1809 and 1814 with a folio atlas of 105 plates, and issued in both Russian and German, is a signal rarity of travel literature. Editions in Dutch, English and Italian followed, although none were accompanied by a plate volume, which marks the present first edition in French as being the first edition following the original publication to include an atlas of plates. The illustrations are re-drawn versions of images in the original, and includes a portrait of Krusenstern, views and images of native people of the Marquesas, Japan, Sakhalin Island, Kamtchatka, etc., as well as nine maps. The translation is by the French geographer Jean-Baptiste Benoît Eyriès (1776-1846), a founder member of the Société de Géographie, a member of the Société Asiatique and Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, awarded the Legion of Honour, and in 1841 elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. However, he is best remembered for a non-geographical work: his Fantasmagoriana (1812), an anthology of German ghost stories, was read by the Byron-Shelley circle during their stay at the Villa Diodati, the most famous child of that famous excursion being Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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Description

2 octavo volumes letterpress (199 x 123 mm), atlas volume of plates (425 x 280 mm). Contemporary dark green half straight-grain calf, flat spines gilt lettered direct and divided into compartments by zig-zag rolls, two broad panels filled with a reticulated pattern highlighted with a quatrefoil device at the interstices, sailing ship motif in third and sixth compartments, green vellum corner tips, green marbled sides.

Illustrations

30 plates in the atlas, including lithograph portrait of Krusenstern by G. Engelmann after Baptiste, 19 lithograph plates and 10 engraved maps (3 double-page).

Condition

Vol. I with superficial crack and minor wear at head of front joint, a few light abrasions to spine of atlas, occasional toning and scattered foxing. An excellent set, with the half-titles in the letterpress volumes.

Bibliography

Arctic Bibliography 9377; Forbes 530; Hill 952; Howes K 272; Lada-Mocarski 61 and 62; Nissen, Zool., 2310; Sabin 38332.

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ABOUT US

Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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