Karta Kievskoi Gubernii [Kiev Governorate, Ukraine].
$750 / ≈ €652
Estimate: $900 - $1100
Bidder pays on top of the hammer price:
This fine lithographed map, with text in Cyrillic, shows the Kyiv Governorate, in today's Ukraine, then an administrative division of the Russian Empire which existed between 1796 and 1920.
It occupied all of the western halves of the modern Kyiv Oblast but extended much further south to include all of Cherkasy Oblast, occupying the right bank of the Dnieper River. Kyiv, located roughly in the center of the map, occupied only the western side of the Dneiper and was the third-largest city in the Russian Empire, with a population of around 120,000.
The city, detailed in an inset to the right side of the main map (109x95mm.), was then a major center of commerce and cross-cultural exchange, being home to large Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Jewish, and German communities.
The coverage of the countryside beyond Kyiv is extensive, outlining every district and city, listing each village, while all roads are carefully delineated. Most interestingly, the main railroads which connected Kyiv to the rest of the empire are shown, namely the three lines heading from Kyiv southwest to Odesa (on the Black Sea), heading northeast from Kyiv to Kursk and Moscow, and finally heading southeast to Dnipropetrovsk. These lines had only been completed in 1868-70, such that this map is one of the earliest to show their routes. The railways revolutionized Kyiv's economy, ensuring that trips that traditionally took weeks would now take only hours.
The map was printed as part of Alexey Afinogenovich Ilychin's "Podrobnyi atlas Rossiiskoi imperii s planami glavnyh gorodov " (‘Detailed Atlas of the Russian Empire with Plans of the Major Cities’), published in St. Petersburg in 1871, which importantly was the only large atlas of Russia printed during the second half of the 19th Century.
The atlas comprised 70 maps, including general maps representing all of Russia's provinces and regions, with plans of the most important cities. In addition, it included several thematic works, such as hydrographical, ethnographical, administrative maps.
The publisher, The Cartographic Establishment of A. Ilyin was founded in 1859 by the General Staff officers Alexey Afinogenovich Ilyin (1832-1889) and Vladimir Poltoratsky (1830-1886). The firm was originally known as the Chromolithography of Poltoratsky, Ilyin, and Co., but after Poltoratsky's departure in 1864, its name was changed solely to reflect Ilyin's stewardship. Alexey Ilyin served as a cartographer for the Military Topographic Depot of the General Staff and was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He thus had privileged access to government map archives, granting him a great competitive edge over his rivals. After the death of Alexey Afinogenovich, one of his sons, Alexey Alexeevich Ilyin (1857-1942), assumed control over the firm. By 1882, the enterprise reached its zenith, producing up to 6 million impressions, accounting for around 90% of all civilian cartographic products published in Russia.
An essential piece for collectors of maps of the Ukraine and Kyiv in particular, and one which is scarcely found on the market.
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