central asia on the maps, presented by the head geographer and editor of the atlas
HEDIN, Sven. Reports from the Scientific Expedition to the North-Western Provinces of China under the Leadership of Dr. Sven Hedin. The Sino-Swedish Expedition. Publication 23. History of the Expedition in Asia 1927-1935 by Sven Hedin in collaboration with Folke Bergman. Translated by Donald Burton. Stockholm, Elanders Boktryckeri Aktiebolag, 1943-1945.
4to. 4 volumes and the extremely rare original cloth box of maps. Original printed wrappers; pp. I: XXVIII, 258; II: XV, [1 (blank)], 215, [1 (blank)]; III: XV, [1 (blank)], 345, [1 (index map); IV: [6 (half-title, title and contents, versos blank)], 449, [1 (blank)]; mounted photographic portrait frontispiece of Hedin in volume I, 126 plates of illustrations, one folding, one folding colour-printed map, 5 folding maps with routes printed in red, one map, illustrations in the text, 2 full-page; remnants of shelfmark labels to spines, one front wrapper with two dents, [together with:] HEDIN, Sven. Central Asia Atlas [edited by Erik Norin, see provenance].. Stockholm, Statens Etnografiska Museum, 1966. 20 large folded colour-lithographic and black-and white maps in the original cloth box with red lettering-pieces; wrappers a little spotted, atlas box minimally rubbed, title-page of atlas with tiny, marginal spot, otherwise very good and uncut, the best set we ever handled.
First edition, together with the very rare atlas, of Hedin's narrative of the Sino-Swedish Expedition, one of his last enterprises, where he was not the lone pioneer but the leader and organiser of one of the biggest scientific expeditions into Central Asia and China. The succession of Sino-Swedish Expeditions united archaeologists, astronomers, botanists, geographers, geologists, meteorologists and zoologists from Sweden, China and Germany. The exploration of the areas from Kashgar to China, including reports on Beijing took place in stages. In 1927 and 1928, sponsored by the German airline Lufthansa, the aim was to investigate a possible flight route for commercial purposes between Europe and the Far East. The second phase of exploration, sponsored by the Swedish State, was devoted to Eastern Turkestan and the Tarim Basin. The final work carried out by an international team of scientists investigated for the Chinese government a possible car route between Sinkiang and China proper. All expeditions together are the scientifically most important ones to be led by Sven Hedin, and publication and valuation of the rich material gathered is still going on. The very rare atlas was for a long time the most detailed cartographic work on the regions visited. As early as 1913, at the International Geographical Congress, the need for good maps of Central Asia had been formulated, and in collaboration between the German geographical publisher Justus Perthes and Hedin work was begun in 1939, soon to be interrupted by the war. In 1945 the US Army Map Service showed interest in realising the project with Hedin and started printing in 1952. - Total weight: 9.5kg.
Yakushi (3rd ed.) H199 and H 204 (21 sheets; however, three previously handled copies contained 20 maps, as here).
Provenance: The introductory note of the atlas box consists of title-page (verso blank) and two pages of introduction by Erik Norin, who was instrumental in producing one of the most important cartographic works on Central Asia. This is followed by the four-page prospectus for Ambolt and Norin's Memoir on Maps, to be published in 1967. The title-page with Norin's signed presentation inscription to Einhold Hede, thanking him for 30 years of scientific work. Norin was a geologist and cartographer of Hedin's expeditions to Mongolia and Sinkiang in the late 1920s and early 1930s.