HOMMAIRE DE HELL, Xavier.
Les steppes de la mer Caspienne, le Caucase, la Crimee et la Russie Meridionale. Voyage pittoresque, historique et scientifique de France.
- Paris: Chez P. Bertrand, 1843-45.
- Atabey 591; Bobins 1091, BL; Not in Weber; nor in Blackmer; Brunet III, 295. .
FIRST EDITION. 3 volumes, tall 8vo, vii, 514pp., errata leaf; half title, title, 598pp; x, 507pp., errata leaf, large folio, 38 plates, including map, 24 tinted lithographs and 9 lithographed and coloured or partly so, 5 double page, and four double-page maps, in original lithographed wrappers, preserved in card box. Atlas volume: folio, two parts in one volume, the first, Historique et Scientifique, vignette title (dated 1845), list of plates, 24 lithographed plates, some coloured; the second with a large folding map, four folding plates bearing a series of maps, relating to the history of cartography for the area covered by De Hell, 6 uncoloured lithographed plates of shells and ammonites, etc. This is all that was published of this important work, considered the best on this area. The plates are by Jules Laurens, after his own drawings. According to an advert in the atlas volume, the work was available for purchase in three forms: firstly, the whole work as above; secondly, the historical section which consisted of two volumes of text and the historical atlas with the map and 25 plates; thirdly, the scientific section which consisted of one volume of text and the scientific atlas, containing the same map, but coloured with geological areas, four maps illustrating the cartography of the Black Sea, a plate of geological sections, and six plates of fossils. Hommaire de Hell was a civil engineer and in 1835 the Turkish Government offered him the post of engineer of public works at Constantinople. This was the occasion of his first journey to Turkey. In 1846 he travelled to Turkey with a brief to make a geographical mission in that country and also in Persia. He spent nearly five years in southern Russia, visiting all the Russian coasts of the Black Sea. He was accompanied on his journeys by his wife, who wrote the historical part of this work.
Coloured plates in order:
1. Procede Mecanique pour la Priere en usage chez les Kalmouks.
2. Un Grand Pretre Kalmouk avec son Ghepi ou chef des Ceremonies.
3. Priere du Soir chez les Kalmouks.
4. Maidari, Genie du Bien. Divinite Kalmouke.
5. Erlik-Khan. Dieu des Enfers chez les Kalmouks.
6. Femmes Kalmoukes dans leur Tente.
7. Princesses Circassiennes sur la rive droite du Kouban.
8. Karolez en Crimee. Habitation de la Princesse Adil-Bey.
9. Carte Geologique et Statistique de la Russie Meridionale. 1844 (large folding map)