[GREAT GAME: KHANATE OF KOKAND] Zapiski o nekotorykh narodakh i zemliakh srednei chasti Azii Filippa Nazarova, otdel’nogo Sibirskogo korpusa perevodchika, posylannogo v Kokant v 1813 i 1814 godakh [i.e. Notes on People and Lands in the Central Part of Asia by Filipp Nazarov, a Translator of the Special Siberian Corps Who was sent to Kokand in 1813 and 1814]

St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1821. Item #323

T.p., [2], 98 pp. Octavo. Contemporary half straight-grained morocco with gilt tooled title labels on the spine (gilt renewed). Pencil markings on the title page, mild water stains on the lower margins of the text leaves, ink stamp of a Soviet bookshop on the last page, otherwise a very good copy.

First edition. Very rare. This early work related to the Great Game describes one of the first Russian travels to the Khanate of Kokand, which was little known before. The first edition quickly became a rarity in Russia; the second commented edition was published only in 1968.

The book was written by Filipp Nazarov, a translator of the Special Siberian Corps of the Russian army. He graduated from the Asiatic School in Omsk, which prepared secretaries and translators for the Siberian administration, and since 1804 he worked as a translator on the Central Asian frontier of the Tobolsk province. In 1813 Nazarov was sent to Kokand in order to settle the incident of the murder of a Kokand ambassador who had been killed in the Russian-Kazakh border town Petropavlovsk while returning home from Saint Petersburg. Accompanied by a caravan of Russian merchants and laden with gifts to the Khan of Kokand from the Russian Emperor, Nazarov departed from Omsk in May 1813. He proceeded to Petropavlovsk, Suzak, Chimkent (modern Shymkent, all three are now in Kazakhstan), Tashkent and Kokand (both now in Uzbekistan), stayed in the Fergana Valley for about a year, and returned to Russia via Ura-Tube (modern Istaravshan) and Khujand (both now in Tajikistan). His travel notes include detailed and sometimes romantic descriptions of the regions he passed, brief historical overview of the Khanate of Kokand, notes on the administration system, trade, manners and customs, sports, music of the local people et al. Nazarov’s testimony about Kazakh, Uzbek and Tajik people is especially valuable due to his fluency in the Turkic languages.

The dedication leaf honors Count Nikolay Rumiantsev (1754-1826) who sponsored the publication of the Zapiski. Rumyantsev was Russian Foreign Minister and Imperial Chancellor, a prominent patron of arts, collector and bibliophile. His book and manuscript collection became the nucleus of the future Russian State Library. Rumiantsev sponsored the Krusenstern’s circumnavigation of 1803-1806, and the 1815-1818 circumnavigation under command of Otto von Kotzebue.

Worldcat locates only six paper copies (Stanford, Library of Congress, Columbia, Harvard, School of Oriental and African Studies of the University
of London, Berlin State Library).

Price: $4,750.00

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