"A VERY IMPORTANT AND MUCH PRIZED WORK": 1821 FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF KOTZEBUE'S VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
KOTZEBUE, Otto Von. A Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Beering's Straits, for the Purpose of Exploring a North-east Passage… in the years 1815-1818. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1821. Three volumes. Octavo, modern half tan calf, marbled boards. $9500.
First edition in English of this "much prized" narrative of the second Russian expedition into the Pacific for scientific exploration and to find a northeast passage to the Arctic Ocean. With seven maps on five folding plates and nine engraved illustrations, eight of which are finely hand-colored.
This second Russian expedition into the Pacific was sponsored by Count Romanzoff and commanded by Kotzebue, who had sailed with Kruzenshtern in 1803-1806. In the Rurik, Kotzebue sailed around Cape Horn and visited Chile, Easter Island, and the Marshall Islands, moving on to explore the North American coast and Hawaii and to search, unsuccessfully, for a northeast passage to the Arctic Ocean. Traveling with the famous artist Ludovik Choris, Kotzebue took careful notes, and his description of the northwest coast of America is "a most important contribution," including important information on California and the first scientific mention of the Golden Poppy, California's state flower. Includes Kotzebue's chronicle of his voyage from Kamchatka to St. Lawrence Island and the discovery of the bay that now bears his name. "A very important and much-prized work" (Hill I, 164-5). The maps and plates are all bound together at the front of Volume I. Hill, 165. Abbey, Travel 596. Lada-Mocarski: 80. Owner ink signature.
Maps and plates clean and fine, light scattered foxing to text. Bindings fine and attractive.