The European Part of the Russian Empire, from Maps Published by the Imperial Academy at St. Petersburg, with the New Provinces on the Black Sea. - The Asiatic Part of the Russian Empire from the Maps Published by the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, with the New Discoveries of Captian Cook & co.
1794 (dated) 19 x 51 in (48.26 x 129.54 cm)
A rare and magnificently proportioned 1794 wall map of the Russian Empire by Laurie and Whittle. Extends from the North Sea and the Black Sea eastward as far as Siberia and the Behring Strait. Extends south to China and the Aral Sea and north to include the island of Nova Zembla and the Arctic. Color coded according to region with Russia in Europe toned in reds and pinks, and Russia in Asia in yellows and greens. This map is most interesting in its extreme eastern portions, which, when this map was drawn, had only recently been explored. The explorations of Vitus Behring are very much in evidence with regard to the form of Kamchatka and the extreme northeast of Siberia. Shows various nautical routes from Okotskoi Ostrog, in Siberia, across the Sea of Okotsk to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. Sakhalin is curiously divided into two separate islands. Hokkaido appears as Matmay or Atkis. Identifies Behring Island off the coast of Kamchatka, where the great Arctic navigator ultimately met his doom. Published by Laurie and Whittle as plate no. 25 in the 1797 edition of Thomas Kitchin's General Atlas.
Laurie and Whittle (fl. 1794 - 1858) were London, England, based map and atlas publishers active in the late 18th and early 19th century. Generally considered to be the successors to the Robert Sayer firm, Laurie and Whittle was founded by Robert Laurie (c. 1755 - 1836) and James Whittle (1757-1818). Robert Laurie was a skilled mezzotint engraver and is known to have worked with Robert Sayer on numerous projects. James Whittle was a well-known London socialite and print seller whose Fleet Street shop was a popular haunt for intellectual luminaries. The partnership began taking over the general management of Sayer's firm around 1787; however, they did not alter the Sayer imprint until after Sayer's death in 1794. Apparently Laurie did most of the work in managing the firm and hence his name appeared first in the "Laurie and Whittle" imprint. Together Laurie and Whittle published numerous maps and atlases, often bringing in other important cartographers of the day, including Kitchin, Faden, Jefferys and others to update and modify their existing Sayer plates. Robert Laurie retired in 1812, leaving the day to day management of the firm to his son, Richard Holmes Laurie (1777 - 1858). Under R. H. Laurie and James Whittle, the firm renamed itself "Whittle and Laurie". Whittle himself died six years later in 1818, and thereafter the firm continued under the imprint of "R. H. Laurie". After R. H. Laurie's death the publishing house and its printing stock came under control of Alexander George Findlay, who had long been associated with Laurie and Whittle. Since, Laurie and Whittle has passed through numerous permeations, with part of the firm still extant as an English publisher of maritime or nautical charts, 'Imray, Laurie, Norie and Wilson Ltd.' The firm remains the oldest surviving chart publisher in Europe.
Thomas Kitchin (August 4, 1718 – June 23, 1784) was a London based engraver, cartographer, and publisher. He was born in London to a hat-dyer of the same name. At 14, Kitchin apprenticed under Emanuel Bowen, under whom he mastered the art of engraving. He married Bowen daughter, Sarah Bowen, and later inherited much of his preceptor's prosperous business. Their son, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, also an engraver joined the family business, which thereafter published in Thomas Kitchin and Son. From 1858 or so Kitchin was the engraver to the Duke of York, and from about 1773 acquired the title, 'Royal Hydrographer to King George III.' He is responsible for numerous maps published in the The Star, Gentleman's Magazine, and London Magazine, as well as partnering with, at various times, with Thomas Jefferys, Emmanuel Bowen, Thomas Hinton, Issac Tayor, Andrew Dury, John Rocque, Louis de la Rochette, and Alexander Hogg, among others. Kitchin passed his business on to his son, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, who continued to republish many of his maps well after his death. Kitchin's apprentices included George Rollos, Bryant Lodge, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, Samuel Turner Sparrow, John Page, and Francis Vivares.
Kitchin, Thomas, Kitchin's General Atlas, describing the Whole Universe: being a complete collection of the most approved maps extant; corrected with the greatest care, and augmented from the last edition of D'Anville and Robert with many improvements by other eminent geographers, engraved on Sixty-Two plates, comprising Thirty Seven maps., Laurie & Whittle, London, 1797.
Very good condition. Original fold lines. Right margin exhibits some toning and wear. Else very clean.
Rumsey, 0411.027. Phillips (Atlases) 4300, 699, 4293 (sayer). Shirley, R., Maps in the atlases of the British Library, T.LAU-1c (1799 ed.). National Maritime Museum, 375 (3rd ed. 1801).