Joseph Billings had served on Cook’s last voyage as an able seaman and assistant astronomer. In 1783 he transferred to the Russian navy, and undertook this expedition at the behest of Catherine the Great. “The expedition’s main tasks were to map the area from the mouth of the River Kolyma in north-east Siberia along the east Siberian sea shoreline to the Bering Strait; to chart the Chukotka peninsula inland from the Bering Strait as far as Cape Shelagsky; and to provide accurate maps of the chain of Aleutian Islands and others lying between Kamchatka and the American coast” (ODNB).
First edition. 4to xxvi, (29 cm) [i], 332, 58pp, large folding map, 14 engraved plates, contemporary calf gilt, neat repairs to joints, a fine copy.
Provenance: William Philip, Earl of Sefton (armorial book plate).
Hill (2004) 1528; Lada-Mocarski, 58; Streeter 3499.
Stock ID: 95768