This is an uncommon 1860 elephant folio map of the Russian Empire by A. H. Dufour. It covers the Empire in its entirety, both in Europe and Asia, as well as parts of neighboring Tartary, Persia, Afghanistan, Chinese Empire, Japan and Korea.
In 1815 Tsarist Russia emerged from the Napoleonic Wars economically insolvent and politically fearful of the Revolutionary fervor that had just swept through Europe. In order to shore up Russia's economic position, the Tsars began an aggressive series of expansions into the Caucuses and Central Asia that would vastly increase the landmass of the Russian Empire.
When this map was made, Russia was under the suzerainty of Tzar Alexander II. Alexander is best known for his liberal reforms including the emancipation Reform of 1861 which liberated Russia's countless serfs and is considered to be one of the most important events in 19th century Russian history.
This map was prepared by Auguste-Henri Dufour and engraved by Charles Dyonette for publication plate no. 31 in Armand Le Chevalier's 1860 edition of Atlas Universel, Physique, Historique et Politique de Geographie Ancienne et Moderne.
Adolphe Hippolyte Dufour (1795 - 1865), also known as Auguste-Henri Dufour, was a Paris based map and atlas publisher active in the middle to late 19th century. Dufour claimed to be a student of another French cartographer, Emile Lapie. He is known to have worked with numerous other cartographers, publishers and engravers of the period including Charles Dyonnet and Duvotenay. His corpus includes numerous maps and atlases, the most striking of which is probably his monumental elephant folio Atlas Universel physique, historique et politique geographie ancienne et moderne. Dufour's student and successor was Alexandre Vuillemin.
Charles Dyonnet (fl. c. 1822 - c. 1880) was an extremely active Paris based engraver working in the mid to late 19th century. From his offices at 220 Rue St. Jacques, Paris, Dyonnet engraved numerous maps for many of the most prominent 19th French cartographic publishers including Vuillemin, Dufour, Fremin and Duvotenay. From 1850-1861, he held the coveted position of "Graveur du Dépot de la Marine," and in this position engraved numerous French naval and military maps. Dyonnet had a detail oriented and aesthetically minded hand and is responsible from some of the most beautiful French maps to emerge during the 19th century.
Chevalier, A., Atlas Universel, Physique, Historique et Politique de Geographie Ancienne et Moderne, Paris 1860.
The 19th century French cartographer Auguste-Henri Dufour began publishing the dramatic elephant folio Atlas Universel, also occasionally titled Grand Atlas Universal, around 1855. Several editions appeared between its initial publication in the 1850s and a final run c. 1870. The 1863 and 1864 editions in particular are highly desirable among collectors because the United States and North America maps illustrate the proposed, but unrealized, state of Corona (roughly modern day Utah). The atlas contained roughly 40 maps, most of which were engraved by Louis Antoine (the maps) and Deletre (typography) under the supervision of Charles Dyonnet, official engraver of the Depot de la Marine. The Atlas Universal was published in Paris and edited by the firm of 'Paulin et le Chevalier,' 60 Rue Richelieu.
Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Minor spotting at places.