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Rare map of Europe and Central Asia, illustrating the routes taken by the Russia Company in 1740.

The map includes and elaborate cartouche and illustrates the route taken by Jonas Hathaway, in service of teh Russia Company, from London to Persia and back, depicting travels by way of the Mediterranean to Scanderoon and overland land through Smyrna, Alepo, Erzerum, Bagdat, Suster, Hamadon, Casbin, Tavria, Ardebil,Reshd, Astrabad, Mesched, Astrachan, Zaritzen, Tambove, Colomna, Moscow, Truere, Novogrod and St. Petersburg and by sea beween London and St. Petersburg (which had only been constructed in the past 40 years prior to the trip).

This map would seem to have appeared in Volume II of Jonas Hathaway's An Historical Account of the British Trade Over The Caspian Sea With a Journal of Travels From London through Russia into Persia; and back through Russia, Germany and Holland, published in London in 1753, although the title in the index of this work is somewhat abbreviated and therefore not perfectr match. Hanway was a partner in an English commercial firm in St. Petersburg. In representing the firm's interests he traveled to Persia by way of the Caspian Sea in 1743 -46, reporting his own travels and quoting from others as well.

The London Company was a business venture created in the wake of Peter the Great's desire to open Russia to trade with the West.

Jonas Hanway (1712 -1786) was English traveller and philanthropist. . In 1729 Jonas was apprenticed to a merchant in Lisbon. In 1743, after he had been some time in business for himself in London, he became a partner with Mr Dingley, a merchant in St Petersburg, and in this way was led to travel in Russia and Persia. The journey began on September 10, 1743 in St. Petersburg, and passed south by Moscow, Tsaritsyn and Astrakhan, at which point Hathaw embarked on the Caspian Sea on November 22 and arrived at Astrabad on December 18, 1743. Here his goods were seized by Mohammed Hassan Beg, and it was only after great difficult]y that he reached the camp of Nadir Shah, under whose protection he recovered most (85%) of his property.

His return journey was plagued by sickness (at Resht), attacks from pirates, and by six weeks' quarantine. Hathawy finally returned to St. Petersburg on January 1, 1745. He next traveled July 9, 1750 to Germany, the Netherlands to England, arriving in October. The rest of his life was mostly spent in London, where the narrative of his travels (published in 1753) soon made him a man of note, and where he devoted himself to philanthropy.

John Gibson Biography

John Gibson flourished in London from 1748 to 1773. He was most likely born ca. 1724. As a young man he was apprenticed to John Blunbell of the Stationers Company, and then to John Pine. He was made free of the Company in 1748. Gibson proved a talented geographer and engraver who produced numerous maps, especially for books and magazines. He worked in collaboration with other map sellers such as Emanuel Bowen and John Roque. His best-known work was the pocket atlas, The Atlas Minimus (1758). Although little is known about his life beyond his publications, he was imprisoned for debt in King’s Bench from May to June of 1765.