Geographical and Astronomical Expedition

    [Joseph Billings]. Martin Sauer. An Account of a Geographical and Astronomical Expedition to the Northern Parts of Russia, for Ascertaining the Degrees of Latitude and Longitude of the Mouth of the River Kovima; of the Whole Coast of the Tshutski, to East Cape; and of the Islands in the Eastern Ocean, Stretching to the American Coast. Performed, by Command of Her Imperial Majesty Catherine The Second, Empress of all Russias, by Commodore Joseph Billings, In the Years 1785, &c. to 1794. London: A. Strahan for T. Cadell, Jun. and W. Davies, 1802. First Edition. Quarto. [iii]-xxvi, [1, errata], [1, blank], 332, 58 [appendices] pages. Bound without half-title. Large folding engraved map ("A Chart of the Strait between Asia & America with the coast of the Tschutski, laid down from Astronomical Observations, made in the Icy Sea during the years 1786 &c. to 1794") by S. J. Neele after A. Arrowsmith and fourteen numbered engraved plates and coastal profiles by J. Powell, R. H. Cromek, S. J. Neele, and others, after W. Alexander. Bound in half calf over marbled paper-covered boards, rebacked with original spine laid down. Five raised spine bands with gilt lettering in compartments. Marbled edges. Binding rubbed, leather scuffed and chipped. Front hinge cracked. Leather burn from turn-ins on corners of endpapers and title-page. Light offsetting from plates onto facing text pages. A few pages with soiling. Scattered foxing, heavier on map and plates. Overall, a very good copy.
    Hill 1528; Howes S117; Lada-Mocarski 58; Sabin 77152; Streeter 3499.

    More Information:

    "After the death of Captain Cook, British naval officers with Pacific experience offered their services to various European navies. The English Captain Joseph Billings was appointed by Catherine the Great to lead this Russian expedition, and another Englishman, Martin Sauer, became his secretary and the historian of the voyage. Sauer wrote the fullest account of the voyage. The expedition visited Kodiak, Montague Island, and Prince William Sound, and saw Mt. St. Elias. They produced detailed charts, and this expedition marked the close of the Russian surveys on the eastern coast of Siberia. The appendix contains vocabularies of the languages of Kamchatka, the Aleutian Islands, and Kodiak. Gavril Andreevich Sarychev, Captain Billing's Russian deputy, also wrote and account of the expedition" (Hill).    

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    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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