Lot 83 of 305:
Langsdorff Travels w/1st view San Francisco 1812  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$4,800
$3,000 - $5,000

Bremerkungen auf einer Reise um die Welt in den jahren 1803 bis 1807

Langsdorff, George H. von

Frankfurt am Main

Friedrich Wilmans


2 volumes. [28], 303, [1], [30]; 335, [1], [20] pp. With 45 copper-engraved plates including the frontispieces, with tissue guards; folding sheet music at rear of Vol. I. (4to) 25.5x20.5 cm. (10x8"), 19th century half calf & boards, morocco spine labels. First Edition. Langsdorff, a physician with a passion for natural history, was on the Kruzenshtern expedition around the world until it reached Kamchatka in 1805, at which point he and Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov left the expedition and proceeded to Alaska to report for the Czar on the Russian American Company. The following year Rezanov, with Langsdorff and Dadydov, sailed from Sitka to San Francisco to obtain food supplies for the Russian colony. Hill notes that "Langsdorff's account relates to his travels along the northwest coast and his journey back across Siberia to St. Petersburg. Nearly seventy pages are devoted to the account of the extensive visit by Rezanov to San Francisco and the surrounding country... Another result of this visit was the establishment in 1812 of the Russian settlement of Fort Ross on the California coast. The German edition is very desirable, since it contains the first view of San Francisco. Langsdorff's account is rich in descriptions of the peoples and cultures visited, and his descriptions of the Marquesans is particularly important and has become something of a classic." In addition to this first published view of San Francisco ("Ansicht des spanishen Establissements in St. Francisco"), which shows a small cluster of buildings (the Presidio) beyond the bay, upon which four Indians are paddling a reed boat, there are views of various natives of the American northwest and the South Seas, harbors, implements, etc. Lada-Mocarski declares that "the numerous plates add greatly to the usefulness of Langsdorff's work." Hill, Pacific Voyages, pp. 170-1; New Hill #968; Howes L81; Lada-Mocarski 69; Streeter Sale 3504.

Lot Amendments

Rubbing & wear to covers, splits along front joints causing spine strips to flap, spine foot of Vol. I torn off; Vol. I with dampstain to lower corners of 1st 100 or so pages and to the lower corners of the plates at rear; dampstain to lower margins of some pages and plates in Vol. II, with rear free endpaper missing in that volume; otherwise good to very good, worthy of repair to the bindings.

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