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Antoine du Chaffat: Provinciarum Turcico Barbaricarum

Map: RUS2611
Cartographer: Antoine du Chaffat
Title: Provinciarum Turcico Barbaricarum
Date: c. 1738
Published: N/A
Width: 25 inches / 64 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: RUS2611
Very rare map showing the theatre of war in modern Ukraine and Crimea during the Russo-Turkish War of 1735-39.

This was one of several conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and Russia during the 18th century. The conflict was provoked by the continued raids of the Crimean Tartars against both Russia and the Ukraine as well as the Ottoman conflict with Persia, a Russian ally. This ensured the mustering of a Russian army under the German Field Marshall Christoph von Munnich, in service to the Empress Anna. The situation was further complicated by a conflict in the Polish Succession, with Ottoman ally France supporting one candidate against a preferred Russian candidate. Finally, Russia also had an alliance with Austria, an ancient enemy of the Ottomans whose hostilities went back centuries.

The aim of the war was to stop the raids, ease pressure on Persia and most importantly, gain access to the northern shores of the Black Sea by seizing the Crimean Peninsula and the enormous and strategic fortress of Azov. Von Munnich achieved stunning success, gaining all of his objectives. So much so, that it encouraged the Austrians to enter the war on the Russian side in 1737. Unfortunately, logistics for the Russians proved to be their undoing, further worsened by the outbreak of plague in 1737-8. Ultimately, this, with bad defeats for their Austrian allies in the Balkans, forced the Russians to retreat to the Ukraine and ultimately sign the Treaty of Nis, which ended the war, with neither side gaining advantage.

This map is based on one of five maps commissioned by the Russian Empress Anna from the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy in turn used von Munnich’s military manuscripts to produce these maps which chronicle the Russian campaign on the Crimea and the northern shore of the Black Sea in modern Ukraine. The campaign was against the Crimean Tartars and their Khans, who were nominally independent tribes and clans but in reality were very much under the influence and command of the Ottoman Empire. The map shows the Russian defensive lines in the north of the region together with Russian manoeuvres against the enemy.

Antoine du Chaffat was a military surveyor and cartographer who was in the service of Bavaria. Due to the involvement of Marshall von Munnich and Austria, there was substantial German interest in the conduct of the war, hence several different versions of these maps being issued in the Holy Roman Empire and Holland at this time. Du Chaffat’s version of this map is believed to be the rarest.

Original hand colour. [RUS2611]