THE GREAT RUSSIAN EMPIRE ACCORDING TO THE LATEST OBSERVATIONS
“Spatiosissimum Imperium Russiae Magnae juxta recentissimas Observationes Mappa Geographica.” Copper engraving by Conrad Tobias Lotter, published in Augsburg 1760. Original hand colouring with later additions. Size: 50 x 57 cm.
Detailed map of the Russian Empire, covering the region from Norway in the northwest to Kamchatka and (a part of) Japan in the east, including China and Korea. To the south it runs from Georgia (not shown as part of Russia) across the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tibet. It is filled with place names, and even includes nomadic tent encampments along the central Asian trade routes. The map shows some of the interesting cartographic anomalies of the period: a misshapen Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Ocean; a large island in the area of the Bering Strait; and Kamchatka is one landmass through the Kuriles to Hokkaido.
The map is decorated with a cartouche attended by a classical Amazon warrior, two Chinese merchants with rhino horns, a map and instruments to navigate maps. The cartouche is topped with the double headed eagle of the Russian Empire.