St. Petersburg: Typ. of the Department of Udely [Crown Lands], 1861. Item #1184
Oblong Folio album (ca. 32x43 cm). T.p., fourteen leaves of lithographed maps and views (four folding). Attractive period style green half sheep with marbled papered boards; spine with a gilt-lettered title. Front page of the original publisher’s wrapper bound in. Several leaves slightly-age-toned, a couple with minor tears on extremities, but overall a very good copy.
Very rare Russian imprint with only one paper copy found in Worldcat. The album was issued to supplement the two text volumes titled “Pyatigorsky Krai i Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody” (also authored by Batalin and published in the typography of the Department of the Crown Lands in 1861). The book received the Demidov Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences and became a classical work on the Caucasian mineral resorts. It was never republished or translated into other languages.
The book is based on the large-scale survey of the Caucasian Mineral Waters’ region, carried out in summer 1856 by the special commission of the Mezhevoy [Land Surveying] Corps in Moscow (better-known as Konstantinovsky Mezhevoy Institute, 1799-1930). The survey party consisted of several officers of the Mezhevoy Corps, geographer and statistician Fyodor Batalin (1823-1895), director of Tiflis observatory A. Moritz and the Director of the Mezhevoy Corps Mikhail Muravyov (1796-1866, Russian Minister of the State Property in 1857-1862). The main goal of the survey was to compile the first detailed topographical maps of the resorts and to “describe the physical and geographical characteristics of the waters, to ascertain geographical latitudes and longitudes, to build a trigonometrical network, to measure the height of the mountains and other outstanding objects, to level and survey, and to create a series of drawings to make the reader acquainted with the landscape of the surveyed region” (Preface/ Pyatigorsky Krai i Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody, vol. 1, p. I). The party ascertained the exact geographical coordinates of Yessentuki and Zheleznovodsk, calculated the heights of thirteen local mountains, thoroughly surveyed Pyatigorsk Proval cave and lake, discovered several hot springs near Pyatigorsk, and analyzed the chemical composition of water from several springs.
The album contains four chromolithographed topographical plans, including a large folding plan of Pyatigorsk, outlining three main parts of the city (Goryachevodsk, Novy Gorod and Kabardinskaya Sloboda); an insert shows the profile of the Proval cave and lake. The other topographical plans show the areas of Zheleznovodsk, Kislovodsk and Yessentuki mineral waters. Five trigonometrical and geometrical charts supplement the data of the topographical plans. The plans and charts are based on the astronomical and trigonometrical survey by the engineers Stavrovsky and Kikin of the Mezhevoy Corps; they were lithographed in the Mezhevoy Corps’ typography. Five beautiful chromolithographed views of Pyatigorsk, Kislovodsk and Mount Zheleznaya were taken from nature by a local assistant-surveyor R. Cheredeyev and prepared by artist N. Medvedev; they were lithographed in the celebrated Paris firm of Joseph Lemercier. Overall a beautiful rare Russian atlas illustrating classical research of the region of Caucasian Mineral Waters.
Fyodor Batalin graduated from Moscow University, worked in the “Otechestvennye Zapiski” magazine (1847-59) and the Imperial Ministry of State Property (1860 – early 1890s). He was widely known as the first publisher of the popular “Calendar and reference book for a Russian agricultural estate owner” (1875-1898).
A list of maps and plates:
1) A trigonometrical network compiled between Pyatigorsk and the group of the Beshtau Mountains (folding);
2) A trigonometrical and geometrical network to the plan of Pyatigorsk (folding);
3) A plan of Pyatigorsk (chromolithographed, folding);
4) A geometrical network to the plan of Zheleznovodsk mineral waters;
5) A plan of Zheleznovodsk mineral waters (chromolithographed);
6) A geometrical network to the plan of Yessentuki mineral waters;
7) A plan of Yessentuki mineral waters (chromolithographed);
8) A trigonometrical network to the plan of Kislovodsk mineral waters;
9) A plan of Kislovodsk mineral waters (chromolithographed).
10) Pyatigorsk, from the house of Mr. Upton (folding);
11) Pyatigorsk, from the state garden;
12) Zheleznaya Mountain, from the road to Yessentuki;
13) Kislovodsk, from Mount Krestovaya;
14) Kislovodsk, from a Cossack post.