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[ALEXANDER VON BUNGE EXPEDITION 1889]
[Unique Collection of 23 Original Photographs Documenting the Investigation of the Wreck of the Russian Coast Guard Ship Kreiserok in the Vicinity of Cape Soya, Northwestern Hokkaido]
Ca. 1889. One photograph ca. 16.5 x 22cm (6.5 x 8.5 in), eighteen photographs, ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) and four smaller photographic portraits of the Kreiser's crew, ca. 11x8 cm (4 ¼ x 3 ¼ in) mounted on card leaves of different sizes. The majority of photographs with pencil captions in Danish on the lower margins of the mounts. Minor foxing of the mounts, but overall a very good collection. Ca. 1889. One photograph ca. 16.5 x 22cm (6.5 x 8.5 in), eighteen photographs, ca. 12x17 cm (4 ¾ x 6 ¾ in) and four smaller photographic portraits of the Kreiser's crew, ca. 11x8 cm (4 ¼ x 3 ¼ in) mounted on card leaves of different sizes. The majority of photographs with pencil captions in Danish on the lower margins of the mounts. Minor foxing of the mounts, but overall a very good collection. The expedition under the leadership of renowned Russian Polar explorer, doctor Alexander von Bunge (1851-1930) included Lt. V.N. Bukharin and other Russian mariners, as well as Japanese officials and translators. The party reached the place of the wreck with great difficulties because of heavy snowfalls and strong winds. They examined what left of the schooner - a part of stern with steering wheel and the right side with both masts. Two ship's boats, the flag and the board with the ship's name were discovered, as well as a body of a sailor (Fedor Ivanov). None of the crew members was rescued, obviously there were no survivors. The cause of the disaster wasn't determined, but it was assumed that the ship wrecked because of the ice formation on Kreiserok's hull and rigging during strong storm, winds and low temperatures. This photograph collection, assembled by the Danish member of Kreiser's crew, Lt. C.M.T. Cold (who also captioned most of the images), includes eleven images of the Kreiserok wreck on shore with all parts of the schooner's remains clearly visible. Five images show the surrounding coast and a Japanese settlement, covered with deep snow. The majority of the pictures from the wreckage also show the expedition members, with Alexander Bunge present on five pictures, and possibly V. Bukharin and Lt. Cold present at least on six pictures; several pictures show the Japanese members, and two images are group portraits of all expedition members. Five pictures are dedicated to the clipper Kreiser including four portraits of its crew members, and a view of Kreiser in the harbour of Nagasaki, the latter was reproduced in: Krestianinov, V.I. Cruisers of the Russian Imperial Navy, 1856-1917. Part 1. SPb., 2003 (????????????, ?.?. ???????? ??????????? ?????????????? ?????, 1856-1917. ?. I. ???, 2003). The monument erected in 1897 in Vladivostok in memory of Kreiserok and its crew became the first monument of Vladivostok and the first official memorial on the Pacific to Russian naval mariners who perished on duty. Kreiserok ("Little Cruiser") was a coast guard schooner of the Russian Imperial Navy. Tonnage 15 t., length 24 m., width 8 m., draught 2.13 m. Built in 1884 in Seattle, before 1886 - American schooner "Henrietta." In 1886 it was confiscated by the Russian clipper "Kreiser" for poaching in the Russian waters of the Bering Sea. In 1887 under command of lieutenant Tsvangman it carried out hydrographical survey of the Amur estuary. On May 14, 1888 it was renamed after the clipper "Kreiser" and became a coast guard vessel of the Tyuleniy Island (the Sea of Okhotsk). In October 1889 during its service on the island's coast it captured American poaching schooner Rose and prepared to escort it to Vladivostok, but instead wrecked in a storm with the entire crew perishing. A cape and a bay in the Possiet Gulf (Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan) were named after it. Alexander von Bunge was a renowned Russian Polar explorer, doctor of medicine and zoologist, a son of famous botanist Alexander von Bunge (1803-1890). He participated in several expeditions to the Arctic, including Spitsbergen and the New Siberian Islands.