St. Petersburg. 1823. ,iv,126pp. plus folding table and map. Half title. Antique-style three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine gilt, leather label. Small closed tear in map from lower gutter margin, neatly repaired. Light dust soiling and occasional faint foxing. A near fine copy. Untrimmed. Item #WRCAM54222
The extremely rare and significant first comprehensive report of Bering's landmark first Kamchatka expedition, based on newly discovered eyewitness accounts. Bering's first voyage, which lasted from 1725 to 1730, was Russia's first scientific naval voyage and confirmed the separation of Asia and America. Vasillii Berkh wrote several books about Alaska and scientific or naval discoveries resulting from Russian sea explorations.
"His works are authoritative and are the culmination of a thorough research for which he often used original source material. The present work is based largely on the manuscript journal of Warrant Officer Peter Chaplin, who was with Bering on the latter's first expedition and sailed with him on the Sviatoi Gavriil. Berkh also used material from Chirikov's incomplete journal of the same voyage. These manuscript journals were accidentally discovered by Berkh in the State Archives of the Russian Admiralty, thus providing original source material of two participants in a historical event of great importance" - Lada-Mocarski. The map compiled by Berkh outlines Bering's track in 1728 and 1729, showing Kamchatka, Bering Strait, and a small part of Alaska; and biographies of Bering, Spanberg, Chirikov, and Chapin are contained at the rear. "An important source on the voyage of discovery sent out by Peter the Great" - Eberstadt.
One of the rarest of the Lada-Mocarski titles, it has only appeared at auction once, at the Martin Greene sale, where it brought $17,500. HOWES B377, "b." LADA-MOCARSKI 87. TOURVILLE 531. WICKERSHAM 6094.