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Detailed Map of the Sea of Azov, issued Upon the Creation of the Taurida Governate by Alexander I.

Separately issued Russian engraved map of the Sea of Azov, published in 1803, after a period of improved surveying of the body of water.

The map far exceeds other printed maps that cover the Azov from this period. It was seemingly produced following Russian expansion and consolidation in the region, which had long been contested by Ottoman and other forces.

The Black Sea Encyclopedia makes reference to hydrographic surveys from this time, saying: "1804 Map of the Sea of Azov compiled by Captain Lieutenant A.E. Vlito and warrant officer N.D. Kritskiy with the use of the description they had made earlier was published in Russian, French and Greek." We have located a map of the Black Sea region by Vlito that was published in French, however the information included there is not as good as what can be seen on this map.

The present map has soundings all throughout the sea and would have been the chart of record for the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

An impressive feat of early Russian hydrography.

Taurida Governate

As part of Alexander I's expansion and consolidation of Russian territory in present-day Ukraine, the Taurida Governate was created in 1802. It included Crimea and much of southeastern Ukraine, in what was then called Novorossiya.