STRAHLENBERG, Philipp Johann von.

An Historico-Geographical description


An Historico-Geographical description
of the north and eastern parts of Europe and Asia; but more particularly of Russia, Siberia, and Great Tartary.
London: Brotherton, 1738.

In stock

An Historico-Geographical description


An excellent copy of this celebrated study of Russia and Mongolia, complete with the large map; with fine English provenance.

The author, the Swedish officer Philipp Johann Tabert von Strahlenberg (1676–1747), spent 10 years in captivity in Siberia between 1711 and 1722 following the defeat of Charles XII. During his stay in Russia he collected information and material on the languages and people of Ural and Altai stock, which became the basis for the present work.

The text is of great importance, offering much first hand information – geographical, historical, and ethnographic – about Siberia and Great Tartary. The work also includes early descriptions of the linguistics of the region, with a Kalmyk vocabulary that includes translations of Mongolian words. The most important aspect of the present work, however, is von Strahlenberg’s rare map depicting the Russian realm and Great Tartary, which contains extensive information about Siberia. Preparing the map, von Strahlenberg used his own latitudinal calculations as well as expedition accounts written by others.

This copy is of the second English edition (after the first edition in German in 1730 and the first English of 1736), with the map specially re-engraved by Richard William Seale. It comes from the library of the Bickford family, who resided in the historic country house Dunsland, in the parish of Bradford, near Holsworthy, in Devon, England. The manor was home to four generations of the Bickford family from c. 1830. The house was sold in 1947 and destroyed by fire twenty years later.


4to, 22.7 x 17.5 cm); with large folding map by R.W. Seale, folding woodcut map, folding table, 10 engraved plates (3 folding including 1 map), woodcut tables and illustrations in text (some full-page); inscription in ink to title, repaired small marginal tear to pp. 311-312; contemporary calf, gilt ruled covers, spine with raised bands, gilt lettering to second compartment, gilt decorative ornaments to the others; neatly rebacked to style; xii, 463 pp.

Provenance: Bickford Dunsland (inscription to title).


Cox I, 194; Crowther 2034.


Stock ID: 91008