Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See und nach der Berings-Strasse … Unternommen in den Jahren 1815, 1816, 1817 und 1818… auf dem Schiffe Rurick…. Otto von KOTZEBUE.
Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See und nach der Berings-Strasse … Unternommen in den Jahren 1815, 1816, 1817 und 1818… auf dem Schiffe Rurick…
Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See und nach der Berings-Strasse … Unternommen in den Jahren 1815, 1816, 1817 und 1818… auf dem Schiffe Rurick…

Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See…
Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See und nach der Berings-Strasse … Unternommen in den Jahren 1815, 1816, 1817 und 1818… auf dem Schiffe Rurick…

Weimar: Gebruder Hoffmann, 1821.

Three volumes bound in one, quarto; with six maps (five folding) and 20 engraved and aquatint plates (19 with original handcolouring and four double-page); contemporary quarter black roan, gilt arms on cover of Ernst Augustus, King of Hanover.

The second great Russian expedition to the Pacific

First edition of Kotzebue's account of his voyage, the second Russian scientific expedition and one of the great Pacific exploration accounts. The plates include two each of Alaska and Hawaii, and four of Micronesia. The aquatint plates are finely handcoloured (with the exception of the single engraved plate of the monkey-skull), and retain the quality of original watercolours. The third volume includes the fine coloured butterfly plates omitted from the English and Russian editions.

First edition of Kotzebue's account of his voyage, the second Russian scientific expedition and one of the great Pacific exploration accounts. The plates include two each of Alaska and Hawaii, and four of Micronesia. The aquatint plates are finely handcoloured (with the exception of the single engraved plate of the monkey-skull), and retain the quality of original watercolours. The third volume includes the fine coloured butterfly plates omitted from the English and Russian editions.
This famous voyage narrative is particularly important for its descriptions of Alaska, California (including the first scientific account of the state flower, the Golden Poppy), Hawaii and Micronesia; Lada-Mocarski describes the account of Alaska as 'rich in early original source material'.
The expedition rounded Cape Horn and visited Chile, Easter Island, the Marshall Islands, Hawaii and the North American coast, making an unsuccessful search for a Northwest passage. The Rurik sailed along the California coast, stopping at San Francisco; Kotzebue describes the missions, and the work is considered one of the most important early accounts of the state. Kotzebue made a stop in Hawaii in November-December 1816, revisiting again in September-October 1817, anchoring off Hawaii and Oahu. The Hawaiian portion is extensive with important observations on life and customs during the reign of Kamehameha I, whose famous "red vest" portrait by Louis Choris is one of the illustrations.
The account of Albert von Chamisso, the expedition naturalist, includes important information about flora and fauna, as well as the native inhabitants and the work of the missionaries. There is also a comparative vocabulary table for languages of some of the islanders. As a record of historical import, and as a collection of significant maps and beautiful plates (most notably those of the butterflies), this work is one of the prime desiderata of Pacific voyages. 'Kotzebue belonged to that group of outstanding Russian naval officers of the first half of the nineteenth century, which included Kruzenshtern, Golovnin, Lisianskii, Sarychev, and others…' (Lada-Mocarski).
There were altogether three issues of this first edition, as noted by Forbes in the Hawaiian National Bibliography. This is an example of the second issue with the text printed upon laid paper and the plates coloured (the regular issue has the plates in sepia aquatint).

Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 525; 'Hawaii One Hundred', 24n; Hill, 943; Judd, 94; Kroepelien, 670; Lada-Mocarski, 80; Wickersham, 6197.

Price (AUD): $27,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #3712641

Condition Report