St. Petersburg: Typ. Of K.V. Trubnikov, 1873. Item #597
Part 1 and only. , vi, 461,  pp. Octavo. With a large folding lithographed map. Period style green half morocco with marbled papered boards; spine with raised bands and gilt lettered title. Both original publisher’s wrappers bound in. Mild very minor water stains on the lower corners of several leaves at rear, otherwise a very good copy.
Very rare imprint with only seven printed copies found in Worldcat. First edition of the major work by the prominent Russian explorer of Central Asia, Nikolai Severtsov (1827-1885), who was described by another famous traveller to Central Asia P. Semenov- Tyan-Shansky as “one of the first Russian travellers who engaged in survey of the interesting, colossal mountainous land of Tian-Shan, one of the pioneers of geographical research in the countries previously unknown and for many centuries not opening themselves to scientific investigations.”
The book includes accounts of three of Severtsov’s travels. During the expedition Severtsov was wounded and captured by the armed group from the khanate of Kokand and freed only thanks to a personal involvement of the commander of Russian border guards General Dansas. Two other expeditions were dedicated to the Tian- Shan Mountains: to their northern part in 1864 and to the surroundings of Lake Issyk Kul in 1865, with many areas not visited by a European before. The book contains voluminous material on geology, climatology, soil, hydrography, hydrology and orography, flora and fauna of the Aral Sea and the Tian Shan Mountains, with an extensive description of the travel to the valley of the Aksai and Naryn Rivers in central Tian Shan.
Severtsov gained the reputation of an important Russian zoogeographer. The map shows central Tian-Shan and the surroundings of the Issyk- Kul Lake, based on the surveys of Russian military topographers of 1856-1869.
It was planned to issue three parts of the book, but only one part, containing general reports of Severtsov’s travels in 1857-1868 was published, the other two not being approved by the author because of the low quality of the maps. The original manuscripts of the next two parts were eventually lost in the archives. Second edition of the first part was issued only in 1947.
“Nikolai Alekseevich Severtzov was a Russian explorer and naturalist. On an expedition to the Syr Darya, he was captured by bandits and freed after a month. In 1865-68, he explored the Tian Shan mountains and Lake Issyk Kul. In 1877-78, he explored the Pamir Mountains, following a route close to the current Pamir Highway as far as Lake Yashil Kul on the Ghunt River” (Wikipedia). A peak and a glacier in the Pamir Mountains, and a glacier in the Trans-Ili Alatau (Tian Shan Mountains) were named after him.