Ivan Fomic Treskot, Tabula Geographica Generalis Imperii Russici

Catherine  the  Great  presents :


here  in  the  contemporary  German  edition

in  a  wonderful  panoramic  size  of  64.3 × 140  ( sic ! )  cm

as  a  great  cartographic  rarity

Treskot (Trescotti, Tresskott, Trouskot, Truscott), Ivan Fomic (1721-1786) + Jakob F. Schmidt. Tabula Geographica Generalis Imperii Russici ad normam novis simarum observationum astronomicarum concinnata a Ioh. Trescotio et Iac. Schmidio. With

large  title-cartouche  with  Catherine II ,

Treskot + Schmidt, Tabula Geographica Generalis Imperii Russici (Detail)

gliding  on  clouds ,

together  with  quadrant  and  globe

and  a  putti  measuring  the  spread  of  the  empire ;

a second large cartouche, flown over by the Russian eagle with laurel-wreath, sceptre and trumpet, with Mercury and Athena

with  a  map  of  the  empire

in  front  of  the  silhouette  of  Petersburg

and with a three-master, surrounded with medley war material; and with a landscape-cartouche with rocky steppe, obelisk and double miles indicator. Coloured Russia map 1 : 7.5 million printed from 3 plts. Augsburg, Tobias Conrad Lotter (1717-1777), 1784.

25¼ × 55⅛ in (64.3 × 140 cm).


Harms, Cat. van de Kaartencollectie Moll, 19; Lexikon zur Geschichte der Kartographie, Vienna 1986, 688 f.; Bagrow, A few remarks on maps of the Amur, the Tartar Strait and Sakhalin, in IMAGO MUNDI XII (1955), 127-136.

List of Unusual Items that have come up for Sale – compiled by the British Library – in IMAGO MUNDI XLIIII (1992), 140/1 (a former copy traded here into an important German public collection after it had vagabondized on three places of the German market in the ’70s).

Unknown to Grenacher, Guide to the cartographic history of the imperial city of Augsburg, in I. M. XXII (1968), 85 ff., and Phillips, Atlases + Maps of America. – In the British Library only the original edition ed. by the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petersburg in 1776. Lotter’s map of Russia of 1788, mentioned not as being printed from more than one plate, in Tooley’s Dictionary probably a new edition of the one listed by Grenacher as published in 1770 (Phillips 3513, 26 as ca. 1772).

Typographic watermarks. – With margins of 1.4-2.8 cm on all sides. – Left and center part almost only in the margins slightly smudgy by age.

Extraordinarily  rare

third  own  general  map  of  Russia

on whose two authors is known next to nothing despite of some maps – besides the present general several regional maps – composed together.

“ Based on the county maps of the surveyors and other material (originating especially from expeditions and legations) submitted to the senate, the highest administrative body of the empire, several general maps of the Russian state were produced subsequently, which in their turn served as sources for maps of Russia drawn in other European countries: as first in 1734 the Imperii Russici Tabula Generalis … (ca. 1 : 11.7 mill.) by I. Kirilov; followed in 1745 by the Mappa Generalis Totius Imperii Russici (ca. 1 : 8.9 mill.) in the Atlas Russicus published by the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, 1776 the ‘Tabula Geographica Generalis Imperii Russici’ (ca. 1 : 7.5 mill.) by I. F. Truscot(t) (Treskot) u. J. F. Schmidt … ”

(Lexikon zur Geschichte der Kartographie).

Remarkable, too, the increasingly larger scale of these maps as outer sign of the growing completion of land surveying with the advance of the 18th century. And the present one together also

in  regard  of  the  size  by  far  the  most  imperial .

The rich cartouche decoration – left black and white like in many old coloured map works and also known from the Atlas of the Great Elector – completely in the sign of the policy pursued by Catherine the Great (Stettin 1729 – 1796, daughter of Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and since 1762 czarina of the house Holstein-Gottorp) in the tradition of Peter the Great :

“ As adherent of the then prevailing Enlightenment she wanted to open Russia for western culture and to bring all intellectual powers to their fullest development … Arts and sciences (among these not least cartography) found generous support by her. Scholars and artists were sent abroad for their education ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XIV, 88).

Treskot-Schmidt, 3rd General Map of Russia

On behalf of foreign policy she tried to complete the empire in her sense. To these mostly belligerent actions belonging i. a. the recovery of Azov from the Turks as well as the Polish partitions. Especially the former commemorated by the particularly large representation of the Black Sea on the map held by Mercury within the militarily decorated cartouche.

In  regard  of  the  development  of  Russian  cartography

several  details  seem  to  be  of  special  interest .

So the complete ignoring of the Volga-Don Canal in all versions and variants of representation still omnipresent in the first half of the 18th century. Here, not least after a futile attempt already under the auspices of Peter, the interest had, as obviously impracticable, had ceased.

Greatest  attention , however , deserve

the Asian northeastern coast and the Kurile Islands. Compared with the preceding maps by Kirilov and the Atlas Russicus only Sakhalin and the coast running to the south appear in the known form unchanged since Kirilov’s map of 1734.

But only somewhat more northerly the changes start with the Shantar Islands, hitherto drawn too large, now appearing in correct size in the bay of the Sea of Okhotsk also now extending sharply to the west. Kamchatka is significantly stretched out and thus almost adjusted to its true shape, the Kurile Islands here supposedly marked for the first time with this name as an archipelago, otherwise though – also in regard of the disputed group situated nearer to Japan – corresponding to the general map of the Atlas Russicus and the respective atlas maps. Only the farthest northern tip of Japan here not in the map image anymore. Terre de la Compagnie and da Gama Land found in the Kirilov and Haas maps of 1734 and 1739/43 resp., but also still in Lattré’s map of Asia of about 1770 here left supposedly finally to the memory of the great time of sometimes only vague discoveries and dissolved into a representation corresponding with nature.

Eye-catching  as  cartographic  progress

the severe truncation of the Chukotsk Peninsula leading to the northwest compared with the previous maps still showing Cape Szalaginskoi (Cape Shelagskiy), the northern peninsula, as reaching sharply to the northeast. Although the coast is still drawn too irregular the representation resembles today’s image.

Ivan Fomic Treskot, Chukotsk Peninsula (Detail)

In deviation to both Kirilov’s map as, too, the detail map no. 18 of the Atlas Russicus the equally named islands north off Cape Szalaginskoi missing. This analogously to the general map of the atlas probably drawn too hastily and although the position of the islands was already clarified by Homann’s guiding map of 1725. Also still incorrect as by far both too small and too close to the Asian continent St. Lawrence Island (“I. St. Laurentii”), discovered 1728 by Vitus Bering (1680/81-1741) during the first Kamchatka expedition and today belonging to America. Likewise Diomede Island (“St. Diomedis”) is recorded as part of an extended archipelago of smaller islands just off the mainland. Just as the showing of two “I. St. Andrae” in this area suggests some uncertainties in the reports.

Now correct, however, the representation of the Bear Islands situated before the mouth of River Kolyma, here for the first time as group of small islands and with this designation. Entered already in the Kirilov map – as, too, in Broedelet’s 1743 edition of the Haas map of 1739 – as one large island while still missing in all other maps.

Of  highest  importance

Ivan Fomic Treskot, Aleutian Islands (Detail)

the inclusion of the southern bow of the Aleutian Islands from the Commander Islands with Bering Island before Kamchatka up to the main group on the eastern side of the exit of the Bering Sea and, since going beyond Unalaska, practically reaching just before the southern tip of Alaska Peninsula.

However, the western Aleutian Islands situated visibly too far westerly, practically constituting an archipelago with the Commander Islands. Attu Island, discovered 1741 by Bering’s deputy, Aleksei Ilyich Chirikov (1703-1748), as the westernmost Aleutian island – 200 years later (1943) scene of the only battle of World War II on American soil – in addition obviously split into several islands,

Ivan Fomic Treskot, Bering sland + Aleutian Islands (Detail)

of which the largest one in the southwest is designated “Atta”, whereas with “Ins St Theodori” the most southeasterly one shows Chirikov’s original designation of the island. In Jean Janvier’s continent map of Asia published c. 1770 by Lattré the western Aleutian Islands figure in an indeed more correct distance to the Bering Island as just shadowy coastal strip “Terre vue par Mrs. Tchiricowe et Delisle (Louis De l’Isle de la Croyère, d. 1741) en 7.bre 1741” yet.

Cartographic  novelty , too ,

the inlet designated as Matocznik Szar (Matochkin Strait) parting Novaya Zemlya as to be found in probably no map before – also not in Rigobert Bonne’s map of Russia, published 1771 by Lattré in Paris.

Ivan Fomic Treskot, Novaya Zemlya (Detail)

Otherwise with designation of the known capes and bays, among these Cape Nassau, Asia’s north cape and today Cape Mauritius, as well as the Ice Harbour where Willem Barents (mid 16th cent. – Novaya Zemlya 1697) spent the winter 1696/97 during his second expedition.

Designed in cone projection, the null meridian runs at about 018° west of Greenwich through the middle of Iceland. In the east reaching till about 160° west of Greenwich, the map is limited in the west by North Norway till Tromsø – Copenhagen – Rostock – Berlin – Leipsic – Prague – Bologna and the Gulf of Venice . Southerly still with Constantinople – Mossul – Isfahan in Persia – Samarkand – the headwaters of Irtysh + Selenga – Manchuria – Kunashiri / Kurile Islands. In the Arctic Ocean beyond 85° northern longitude. And thus

the  third  Russian  general  map

reaching  farthest  to  west  and  east

and  forming  the  conclusion  of  a  60  years  epoch

of  gigantic  cartographic  development

initiated  by  Peter  the  Great

Offer no. 12,250 / price on application

„ danke für ihre sendung (Hogarth’s Superstition in Heath-Abdruck), die mich in bestem zustand erreicht hat. große freude, gefällt mir sehr gut … mit freundlichen sammlergrüßen “

(Herr W. K., 7. August 2015)