Rare English version of Strahlenberg's map of Russia, one of the most important maps of Russia published in the 18th century.
Scarce English map of the Russian Empire, from Poland to Kamchatka, the latter named "Land of Yedso." The map is a reduced version Philip von Strahlenberg's map of Russia first published in 1730
Strahlenberg's map was originally engraved by Ferdinand Hilfreich Frisch in Berlin and published separately, as a companion to Strahlenberg's Das Nord- und Ostliche Theil von Europa und Asia . . . . As noted by Bagrow:
It is to be regretted that Strahlenberg's map has so far not been studied to any large extent. After Remezov, it is the second most important source of historical geographical information about Siberia. Yet it did not have a great influence on maps of the following period and, in a way, stands apart.
Strahlenberg, whose name was Tabbert before he was ennobled in 1707, was an officer and cartographer born in Stralsund. After the Swedish defeat in Poltava in 1709 Strahlenberg, a Swedish officer, was taken prisoner during Charles XII's campaign in Russia and held captive in Siberia for thirteen years. Imprisoned in Tobolsk from 1711 to 1721, he was able to explore the lower basins of the Ob and Yenisey rivers, gathering the geographical information regarding the northern and eastern parts of Europe and Asia recorded in this large map. This important map is based on his travels and extensive research in Russia. He returned to Sweden in 1722.
Strahlenberg's work is of great importance offering much first-hand information, geographical, historical and ethnographic, about Siberia and Great Tartary. His book also includes early descriptions of the linguistics of the region, with a Kalmyv vocabulary including the translations of Mongolian words. The most important aspect of his work was unquestionably his rare and significant map representing the Russian realm and Great Tartary, containing extensive information regarding Siberia.
Strahlenberg utilized a wide array of sources in preparing his map. He used his own latitude calculations, as well as readings he had taken with Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt, a Prussian naturalist with whom he travelled in Russia. Measurements and other geographic information were obtained from other sources as well, including Swedish officers on different expeditions, Swedish and German travelers, and Russian cartographers and explorers.
Stahlenberg's map encompasses the area between 50° and 185° east longitude and 32° and 75° north latitude. It records the Russian territories from west of Moscow to Japan in the east and includes northern China, Tibet, and Turkestan in the south. Neighboring countries such as Poland, Persia, India, and Mongolia are documented. Numerous important geographic features are also represented: the Arctic and Pacific oceans, and the Caspian Sea; the Urals, Caucasus, and the Himalayan mountains; and the Gobi desert. The map is most notable, however, for its accurate representation of Siberia, particularly the settlement patterns of the region's various populations.
The present example was engraved by Theodore Spendelowe in London.