1793 Russian 'New Atlas' Map of the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, Florida,Caribbean
Карта Земноводная Залива Мексиканского / [Terrestrial and Maritime Map of the Gulf of Mexico].
12.75 x 17.5 in (32.385 x 44.45 cm)
1 : 12000000
This is a fascinating 1793 Russian-language map of the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean produced for the 'New Atlas' (Novyy Atlas / Новый атлас), an important work that made the latest French cartography available to a Russian audience. It depicts the Caribbean with portions of North, Central, and South America, and also incorporates notation typical of nautical charts.
A Closer LookCoverage extends from Florida and Louisiana in the north, down the eastern coast of Mexico, inclusive of the entirety of Central America, and to northern South America, with all the major islands of the Caribbean indicated. Territories are 'color coded,' with Spanish colonies outlined in pink, British in green, and French in brown. Sand bars are indicated and soundings are provided off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
While Russia's presence in Alaska was nearing a peak at this time, and tentative moves further south would be attempted in the following decades, tangible Russian interests in the Caribbean were virtually non-existent. Therefore, this map was purely for purposes of edification. That being said, this map was produced near the end of the reign of Catherine the Great, when Russian power was expanding considerably, and knowledge of events in other parts of the world were a priority in St. Petersburg.
Publication History and CensusThis map appeared as Plate No. 54 in the New atlas or collection of maps of all parts of the globe (Новый атлас или собрание карт всех частей Земного Шара), subtitled 'taken from various writers and printed in St. Petersburg for the use of Youth in 1793 at the Mining School'. Most of the maps in the Novyy Atlas were derived from those from Rigobert Bonne / Jene Lattré's Atlas Moderne, and the present map follows the pattern, closely resembling G. A. B. Rizzi-Zannoni's Carte geo-hydrographique du Golfe du Mexique et de ses isles. Neither this map nor the Novyy Atlas are cataloged among the holdings of any institutions outside of Russia and individual maps from the atlas are scarce to the market, with the present map having no known history on the market.
Anon., Новый атлас или собрание карт всех частей Земного Шара [New atlas or collection of maps of all parts of the globe] (Saint Petersburg: The Mining School [При Горном Училищѣ], 1793).
Very good. Clean impression. Some sporadic imperfections in margins. Minimal wear along centerfold. A couple small wormholes at top edge.