Images are not to scale.
Please contact us via email to inquire about this item.
OLEARIUS, Adam (1599-1671)
Nova & Accurata Wolgae Fluminis olim Rha dicti, Delineation [Map of Volga River].
Amsterdam: Blaeu, ca. 1659 or 1662. Hand coloured copper engraved map ca. 47x63 cm (ca. 18 ½ x 21 ¼ in). Blank on verso. Strengthened at centerfold with old paper, otherwise a near fine map. "Uncommon map of the Volga River in two parts based on the travels of Adam Olearius. The left side of the map begins at Nizhniy Novgorod and ends at Saratov. The right side continues to Astrakhan with an inset of the river delta. Richly embellished with a strapwork title cartouche featuring reindeer, a scale cartouche with putti, and a fine pictorial scene of an encampment with camels" (Old World Auctions). Olearius was a member of two embassies of Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, to Muscovy and Persia in 1634-37 and 1643, and published a book about the events and observations during his travels. "During his travels Olearius took notes of many kinds, drew sketches of the coasts and river banks, made surveys for a map, and even determined the location of Terki, Derbent, Niazabad, Shemakha and the confluence of the Araks and Kura rivers. Later he made a thorough description of the natural features along his route. During the return trip to Moscow he completed a map of the Volga River and when the embassy was received in audience in the Kremlin, he presented the map to the Tsar. The latter liked it, as he did Olearius himself, and invited him to stay in Moscow with the rank of court astronomer <...> But Olearius declined the offer because he believed it to have been made in an effort to prevent his collective materials from reaching western Europe" (Bagrow, L. A History of Russian Cartography up to 1800, 1975, p. 64). Olearius wrote: "Since in my opinion this river is one of the largest, longest, and most remarkable in the world, I have explored it assiduously with the help of an expert Dutch navigator, Cornelius Clausen, and some Russian pilots; and reduced it to a map with the aid of compass, showing not only its course, its bends, angles and shores, but also its depths so as to indicate where one can navigate freely and safely, its sand banks, islands in it, and countries along its shores; and I measured distances in miles and versts" (Quoted from: Bagrow, L. A History of Russian Cartography up to 1800, 1975, p. 68).