Russia Invades Towards Prussia: 18th Century Map: Easter Baltic:antique Engraved
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Russia Invades Towards Prussia: 18th Century Map: Easter Baltic:antique Engraved:
VINTAGE MAP- SOLD FOR £30 ONLY- NO sale- NO POSTAGE FEE FOR 2ND CLASS UK.
"A PERSPECTIVE ON BRITAIN AND EUROPE: TRAVEL WITH AN ANTIQUE OR VINTAGE MAP"
seller's code: 100620192
NORTH EAST EUROPE
PREDICTING A RUSSIAN INVASION OF PRUSSIA:
Early to Mid 18th century
“MAP OF THE SEVERAL COUNTRIES THRO’ WHICH THE RUSSIANS ARE TO PASS IN THEIR MARCH INTO PRUSSIA”
A Copper plate engraved map: I would guess a date of 1750 here but the events being described would accurately pin down the date. I doubt if this is as late as the Napoleonic period: the engraving, coper plate, and manner just look too old for that.
A GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The map is in English and the scale is in English miles. The spelling is not modern and the scrpt still uses that medial “s” in the shape of an “f”: That has its funny side for here the Russians come out, to the modern eye as “The Ruffians”. Pass is “Pafs” in form etc.
The map is not dates.
The plate marks are seen on all sides with the top right slightly trimmed. The plate is not exactly aligned with the paper sheet.
The paper is double tram lines and probably rag based.
There is a strengthened fold divide on the mid right hand edge and an ancient worm hole at bottom right margin.
The meridian is most unusual and at centre top it says “4 degrees east of Tenerif: I have not come across that as a meridian before. I think it might have been a naval meridian.
In the top left (north east is Sweden and marked as towns are Upsal, Orebro, Stockholm, Norkoping, Westerwyck,, Dantzickgert , Sandohamnbon and Calmar with Carlscroom on the southern coast. The named islands are Gotland and Oeland with Aland partly seen on the top edge. To its west is Finland’s south coast with no places named.
South of this is the Gulf of Finland and then Livonia and Courland marked as being provinces within Russia. In the Gulf of Livonia are Dago and osel islands. Narva is right on the Eastern edge of the map here and Riga is marked on the “Dursemonde River” or something similar, the script is a little obscrured here by coastal shading.
Other towns are names.
A border is drawn and south of it is Samogitia and the Duina River, that runs south to the Russ River and south of that is Prussia on the coast and Lithuania I nland with Wilna presumably being Vilnius. And Minski perhaps being modern day Minsk in Belarus.
Here on the coast is a peninsula named the Curish Nerung and Konigsberg is at its south end.... nearby are Brandenburg and Helsperg.
Up til now I have described a north south coast but on a modern map this coast would surely have turned east west already. The cartographers of this early date seem to have their alignments a little wrong in the Eastern Baltic.
On the Weisel River are Culm and Thorn and also Warsaw upstream and west of there is Polish Prussia south of which is Lower Poland and west of Polish Prussia is Pomerania and that leads west to the Oder River on the western edge of the map south of which is Brandenburg and then Germany including Silesia and the town of Breslaw.
Looking east from Germany in the south of the map the “countries” or “provinces” named are Upper Poland, Red Russia and Volinia.
Could this be a map of an expected Russian invasion west under Peter the Great? It is possible but that would be right at the earliest possible time for such a map: 1682-1725.
Perhaps more likely is the expansion west of the Russian Empire under Catherine the Great – 1762-1798- that seems right for the style of printing but even then the knowledge of the land and sea shapes seems a bit archaic. So I am not entirely decided between the Empire of Catherine or that of Peter.
No doubt an historian would be able to say from the map description that a certain named province puts the map firmly in one reign or the other.
WHAT IS LEARNT FROM THIS MAP?
At this time Poland seems to have a degree of independence from both Prussia and Russia. There is Eastern Prussia, but that is east of polish Prussia.
Poland also exists as two other provinces : Lower Poland and Upper Poland, but are they independent?
On this map Dantzick (sic) is in Polish Prussia, as are Siradia, Sulciow, Cracow, Breste and Pinsk. That last own is in an Eastern part of Poland called Polesia.
Red Russia contains the town of Bielz.
It is interesting that there was a province called Red Russia hundreds of years before the Revolution. Presumably it was contrasted with White Russia- but the probable site of White Russia (Belorus) seems to be called Lithuania on this map.
Lithuania on this map has no coast: the coastal region to its east is Prussian and contains Konigsberg which was in the 20th century occupied by Russia as it still is under the name of Kalingrad.
The interesting aspect of this title is that the Russian move west is not written as a menace, but as a fact “Through which the Russians are to pass….”
I wonder which side of such a conflict the English would have been on: Peter the Great was liked by the English and he trained in shipbuilding at Woolwich. Was a Russian attack on Prussia in the reign of Peter or Catherine considered a menace or a help?
If one takes those dates: The English monarch of the period of Peter’s reign 1682-1725 would have been James II, William and Mary, Anne, George I.
The period of Catherine the Great: 1762-1798 would have been George III. The Peter period would have been contemporary with the campaigns of Marlborough. The Catherine period would have taken English history from the Loss of America to the menace of the French Revolution.
In the 1850’s Britain clashed with Russia in the Baltic in a norther theatre of the Crimean War: it was a naval war: but that surely is far to late for a map of this kind of geography and copper plate engraved manner.
I have looked this up and it was the main meridian favoured by Dutch cartographers from the 1690's to the end of the 18th century. That opens up the possibility that this is a Dutch map for a British audience: perhaps they feared a Russian push west more than we and were trying to alert us to the danger? The Tenerife Meridian might well have been favoured by British cartographers in the reign of William of Orange: and that would make the map contemporary to Peter rather than Catherine.
A MOST INTERESTING ANTIQUE MAP WITH MANY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER. A MAP OF THE EasterN BALTIC REGION WHICH HAS NOT GOT A FIRM MODERN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SHAPE AND ALIGNMENTS OF RIVERS AND COASTS.
I think I come down slightly in favour of the peter the Great period rather than the Catherine the Great period. But some collector has annotated the back to "C 1757".
OLDMAPSHOP: IS MY SOURCE ONLINE FOR MAP & CARTOGRAPHIC HISTORY
TITLE: MAP OF THE SEVERAL COUNTRIES THROUGH WHICH THE RUSSIANS ARE TO PASS IN THEIR MARCH TO PRUSSIA
DATES: 1682-1725 OR 1762-1798: QUESTION IS WHICH?
PUBLISHER: NOT STATED-
EDITION: FOLDED MAP ONCE BOUND WITH TEXT
PRINTER: NOT KNOWN
PRINTING CODE: NOT FOUND
PRINTING PROCESS: COPPER PLATE ENGRAVING WITH IMPRESS MARKS VISIBLE
SCALE: 1 INCH IS ABOUT 69 MILES
GRID: NO GRID, THE MERIDIAN IS THAT OF TENERIFE
OVERALL DIMENSIONS: about 10 INCHES BY 8 INCHES
COVER DIMENSIONS: no cover
COVER DETAIL: no cover
COVER CONDITION: no cover
MAP PAPER OR LINEN BACKED: on paper, DOUBLE TRAM LINED AND ANTIQUE
FOLD WEAR: yes- one side nick strengthened on plain verso
HOLES AT FOLD JUNCTIONS: no
VERSO: plain paper
FOXING: not seen
REINFORCING: one edge nick
SURFACE MARKING: minor
FOLDED INTO: once into three
ANNOTATION: not seen
INTEREST: considerable: map suggests that a 1690-1790’s invasion by Russia of prussia is underway or inevitable- propaganda? Dutch? The Tenerife meridian is a Dutch thing, Old map of Eastern Baltic Russia and Poland
GENERAL CONDITION: complete: good, remarkable survivor unique now? Stitch holes in left plain margin shows it must once have been bound
THE NORTH WEST OF THIS MAP IS AT: Lake Meller Sweden
THE NORTH EAST OF THIS MAP IS AT: East end Gulf of Finland
THE SOUTH EAST OF THIS MAP IS AT: Lachow in Volinia
THE SOUTH WEST OF THIS MAP IS AT: Scale in English Miles or Germany- Silesia
THE CENTRE OF THIS MAP IS AT: Helsberg in Eastern Prussia