[St. Petersburg]: Military Topographical Department of the General Staff, 1895-1899. Large folding colour lithographed map ca. 207,5x231 cm, consisting of 16 joined sheets, linen backed. Upper leaves with lithographed titles and numbers on the upper margins, lower leaves with lithographed dates and names of compilers on the lower margins. Several pencil inscriptions in Russian on the linen on verso. Paper slightly age toned, minor small tears or chipping on the extremities of several outer compartments, but overall a very good map.
Very rare custom-made set of sixteen highly detailed topographical maps, based on Russian military surveys and giving a thorough outlook on China, Central Asia, Tibet, Korea, Taiwan and border regions of Eastern Siberia and Russian Far East. The maps were issued by the Military Topographical Department of Russian Imperial General Staff, in the course of continuous research and exploration of the regions bordering Asiatic Russia. The first set of maps containing 21 leaves was first published in 1888 and was reissued with constant corrections and additions up to the 1930s; the final set of maps contained 39 leaves and covered the territory in Asia from the Black Sea in the west to the Sea of Japan in the east, and from the Ural Mountains in the north to Afghanistan and Himalayas in the south. Detailed and large-scale (40 verst in an inch), the map included all necessary geographic information, including relief, mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, main railways and roads, being especially attentive to cities and other inhabited localities, thus fulfilling its main goal of thorough depiction of border regions. Over the years different leaves of the map were compiled by several specialists of the Military Topographical Department (V. Karchayev, Ogarkov, Lt.-Col. Fedyukin, Vasilyev and others), under general guidance of General Andrey Bolshev (1828-1904), a member of the Russian Geographical Society and editor-in-chief of all maps issued by the Department since 1877.
Our set includes sixteen maps lithographed in 1985-1899, namely (only the first four maps have printed titles on the upper margins, the other ones apparently were trimmed during backing them with linen for the convenience of reading): V. Krasnoyarsk; VI. Irkutsk; VII. Blagoveshchensk & Tsitsikar [Qiqihar]; VIII. Vladivostok; XIII. Kobdo [Hovd]; XIV. Urga [Ulaanbaatar]; XV. Pekin [Beijing]; XVI. Korea; XXI. Hami [Hami Desert]; XXII. Lanzhou; XXIII. Kaifeng; XXIV. Shanghai, Nanking [Nanjing]; XXIX. Lhasa; XXX. Chengdu; XXXI. Chongqing, Changsha, Hankou [Wuhan]; XXXII. Fuzhou.
Compiled during the last phase of the Great Game, the map reflects geographical discoveries of all major Russian expeditions to Central Asia and Tibet, including Pyotr Semyonov Tyan-Shansky, Nikolay Przhevalsky, Grigory Potanin, et al. The Arkatag Range in the central Kunlun Mountains (north of the Tibetan Plateau) is marked as Przhevalskogo Range (named so by the Russian Geographical Society in 1886). The map outlines borders between the provinces of China, shows Mongolia as a part of China and Korea as an independent state; marks Port Arthur and Dalny on the Liaodong Peninsula; Trans-Siberian and Chinese Eastern Railway in their period state with all major stations. Overall a rare set of this important Russian map giving a detailed picture of the southern border of Eastern Siberia and the Far East, the Chinese Empire, Tibet, Korea and Taiwan.