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Spectacular mid-17th century full-color panorama of the Volga River.

Place/Date: Germany / ca. 1647
$2,200.
Title: Accurata delineatio Nobilissmi toti Europae Fluminis Wolgae olim RHA dictae per Adamum Olearium
Dimensions
113 x 38 cm (44.5 x 15 in)
Identifier
NL-00465
Coloring
Hand color
Condition Rating
VG+

Description

Gorgeous example of Adam Olearius’s map of the Volga River, first published in 1647. As embassy secretary representing the German state of Holstein to explore an overland trade route with Persia, Olearius was dispatched to Russia in 1633-34. His published account of these travels included this map, the most important 17th century map of the Volga River.

The Volga River is the longest river in Europe, flowing from Central Russian to the Caspian Sea. This map stretches from the key city of Nischni Nowgorod to the Volga River delta at the Caspian. Also depicted are city-view vignettes of Saratow and Astrachan.

Equal to the importance of the cartography of the map are its vivid pictorial representations of rural life along the river, including local grain harvest and log cabins in the upper right corner, and an autumn harvest with camels and a thatched dwelling in the lower left corner.

Bagrow says of this map: “There is no comparing Olearius’ Volga with those primitive representations seen on earlier maps, such as those of Massa and Visscher.“ It was widely copied by other mapmakers (with significantly less embellishment and detail) for for many decades to follow.

Cartographer(s)

Adam Olearius

Adam Olearius (born Adam Ölschläger or Oehlschlaeger, September 24, 1599 – February 22, 1671), was a German scholar, mathematician, geographer and librarian. He became secretary to the ambassador sent by Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, to the Shah of Safavid Persia (Iran), and published two books about the events and observations during his travels.

Christian Rothgiesser

Condition Description

Strong impression on 3 joined sheets.

References

Bagrow, A History of Russian Cartography Up to 1800, p. 64-68.

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