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1833 Russian Map of Asia

генеральная карта Азіи : изданная По новейшим известиям / [General Map of Asia: Published according to the Latest News]. - Main View

1833 Russian Map of Asia


Early detailed Russian map of Asia, including Maritime Southeast Asia.


генеральная карта Азіи : изданная По новейшим известиям / [General Map of Asia: Published according to the Latest News].
  1833 (dated)     26 x 32.75 in (66.04 x 83.185 cm)     1 : 20000000


This is a unique 1833 Russian-language map of Asia, most likely produced by the Russian Military Topographic Depot (Военно-топографическом депо). It represents an important advance in Russian geographic knowledge, particularly of Maritime Southeast Asia and Australia.
A Closer Look
The map depicts the entire continent as well as portions of Russian America (Alaska), eastern Africa, and New Holland (Новая Голландія), that is, Australia. The still-evolving conventions for place names are clear, such as use of the term Australia (Австралія) for the area around New Guinea, and the directional naming of oceans ('Eastern Ocean,' 'Southern Ocean').

The borders between states and major regions are hand-colored, with some odd choices by the artist, such as outlining the northern half of Sakhalin the same color as Qing China rather than Tsarist Russia.
Publication History and Census
This map includes no publication information aside from the date but was most likely made by the Military Topographic Depot (Военно-топографическом депо), as they were the main outfit capable of making such a map at the time. It also was likely the product of a transnational information exchange, particularly between German lands and Russia, that gradually improved geographical knowledge (a significant portion of the Russian bureaucracy was composed of ethnic Germans from the Baltic states). An 1852 issue of the Herald of the Russian Geographical Society suggests that this map may be a translation of a German map produced by the Geographisches Institut Weimar, probably Carl Ferdinand Weiland's Asien (1826) or his earlier Charte von Asien : nach den neuesten und zuverlässigsten Hülfsmitteln entworfen (1821).

Several 19th century Russian maps have the same or a very similar title and display a similar geographic scope, including an 1827 map by the Military Topographic Depot (OCLC 749100353) and a map of Asia that appeared in the The Universal Atlas or collection of maps of the entire globe… (Всеобщий атлас или собрание карт всего земного шара) by Poznyakov, Arseniev and Frolov (Федор Позняков, Константин Арсеньев и С. К. Фролов), published in several editions in the late 1820s-1840s. The present map does not appear in any institutional holdings and has no known history on the market.


Average. Foxing, fly spotting, and areas of wear. Surface abraded here and there.


В. А. Милютина, 'ПРИЛОЖЕНІ Я.' Вестник: Императорскаго Русскаго Географическаго Общества, Часть Четвертая, Книжка II (Санктпетербургъ: въ типографии Эдуарда Праца, 1852) [V.A. Milyutin (ed.), 'Appendix 1' Herald: Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Part Four, Book 2 (St. Peteresburg: The Printing House of Eduard Praca) 1852.