Autograph letter signed "Fr. Luetke", to Russian Privy councillor Von Adelung.

Autograph letter signed "Fr. Luetke", to Russian Privy councillor…
Autograph letter signed "Fr. Luetke", to Russian Privy councillor Von Adelung.

St. Petersburg: 22 October, 1872.

Manuscript in ink on paper, single leaf folded to form four pages, 210 x 130 mm.

Rare example of a letter by one of the great Russian explorers

An interesting and rare private letter from the explorer Count Fyodor Petrovich L├╝tke.

An interesting and rare private letter from the explorer Count Fyodor Petrovich Lütke.

Lütke, who started his career in the Imperial Russian Navy in 1813, was a member of Golovnin's voyage on the Kamchatka (1817-19). Subsequently he himself led (1821-24) the expedition to explore the coastline of Novaya Zemlya, the White Sea, and the eastern parts of the Barents Sea. From 1826 to 1829 he commanded the last great Russian scientific voyage to the Northwest coast of America: sailing to the Pacific on the Senyavin via Cape Horn, they reached Sitka in 1827 and spent over a month there. They continued north to Unalaska and the Aleutian Islands, going as far north as St Matthew Island and the Bering Sea, and surveying the coast of the Alaskan Peninsula as far as Kvichak Bay. Islands in the Caroline group of Micronesia were explored during the winter of 1828, and they visited Guam, the Philippines, and St Helena Island in the south Atlantic before returning to Kronstadt in September 1829.

The printed account of his voyage on the Senyavin is one of the rarest Pacific voyages today, and was rare even in the nineteenth century (the bibliographer Sabin could only explain this by pointing out that the small edition is said to have been almost entirely bought up within Russia, unlike other voyage publications of the period which reached a much wider audience).

Lütke became an influential member of the Russian Geographic Society, chairman of the Naval Scientific Committee, commander-in-chief and military governor of the ports of Reval and later Kronstadt, and a member of the Russian State Council. In 1873, the Geographical Society introduced the Lütke gold medal. He is commemorated by many placenames, including a cape, a peninsula, a mountain and a bay in Novaya Zemlya, as well as a group of islands of the Franz Josef Land, Baydaratskaya Bay, and Nordenskiöld Archipelago. A strait between Kamchatka and Karaginsky Island, as well as a Russian icebreaker were also named after him.

In this letter to the Russian privy councillor von Adelung, Lütke discusses the financial support of his friend's niece. Lütke gives advice on how this might be accomplished with the help of prominent members of St. Petersburg society including the Secretary of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the mathematician Paul Heinrich Fuss, past and present Ministers of Culture Counts Uwarov and Tolstoy, as well as Tsarina Olga Nicolajevna.

Price (AUD): $2,850.00  other currencies     Ref: #4002635

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