PALLAS’ VOYAGES IN THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, WITH FOLDING MAPS AND ENGRAVED PLATES, 1794
PALLAS, Peter Simon. Voyages du Professeur Pallas, dans Plusieurs Provinces de l’Empire de Russie et dans l’Asie Septentrionale; Traduits de l’Allemand par le C. Gauthier. Paris: Maradan, 1794. Nine volumes. Octavo (eight text volumes) and large quarto (atlas volume), contemporary full marbled calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, red morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $5500.
Second French edition of Pallas’ popular account of his travels through Russia and Central Asia, with 97 engraved plates (25 folding or double-page) by N. Thomas, large folding engraved map of the Russian Empire and ten other engraved maps (five folding) by Tardieu.
Pallas, of German origin, was a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and on request of the Russian government explored the lesser-known provinces of the Russian Empire. His travel books opened up Russia to the West and served as a model for 18th-century travel literature. The plates depict native inhabitants and their dwellings, views, and examples of the flora and fauna encountered. This second French edition was expanded with notes by specialists such as Lamarck on botany and Langles on the eastern languages. First published in German in St. Petersburg in 1771-76, the first French edition appeared 1788-93. Text in French. McGill & Wood 511. Nissen, ZBI 3076.
Text fine. Tear to lower corner of Plate 11, just affecting lettering; a few neat early repairs to versos of several folding maps. Contemporary calf-gilt bindings only lightly rubbed, quite sound and handsome. An excellent set.