~ Shop ~

GREENLAND – NORTH POLE EXPEDITION: Originalkarte von Ost-Grönland zwischen 73°30‘ und 70°0‘ N.Br. von Julius Payer



This rare two maps show the east coast of Greenland and the route of the second German Arctic expedition, made in years 1869-1870, on boats Germania and Hansa.

Additional information


Place and Year


1 in stock


Lithograph printed in black, brown, blue and red (Soft bolds with small tears and holes on crossings, repaired at the back with old tape, slightly age-toned in the folds, otherwise in a good condition), 81 x 56 cm (31.8 x 22 inches).



Übersichtskarte der Ostküste Grönland nach den Ergebnissen der zweiten deutschen Nordpolar-Expedition und unter Benutzung der Originalkarten von Graah, Scoresby, und Clavering-Sabine, entworfen und gezeichnet von den Führern der Expedition Carl Koldewey und Paul Friedrich August Hegeman…

Lithograph printed in black and blue (Very good, soft folds, with light foxing), 56 x 45 cm (22 x 17.7 inches).


The expedition was equipped with the propeller steamboat Germania under captain Carl Christian Koldewey (1837 – 1908) and the sailing ship Hansa under captain Paul Friedrich Hegemann. The following scientists participated on the expedition: astronomers and physicists Karl Nikolai Jensen Börgen and Ralph Copeland, zoologist, botanist and physician Adolf Pansch, and surveyor Julius von Payer. Physician and zoologist R. Buchholz and geologist Gustav Carl Laube travelled on the Hansa.

The ships sailed from Bremerhaven on June 15, 1869. In October the Hansa was crushed by the ice and the crew saved itself on an ice floe.

The Germania reached Sabine Island on August 5 1869, where it continued Edward Sabine‘s expedition from 1823. It undertook the task of mapping out of the coast between 73° and 77° northern latitude from the ship or using sleighs and whalers. Trying to reach the North pole, the Germania arrived to its northernmost latitude 75°30’N on August 14 northeast of Shannon Island, where they had to return on account of lack of leads in the ice. The expedition stayed at Sabine island from August 27, 1869 to July 22, 1870. The researches, surveys and mapping of the coast towards the North Pole were continued being made on smaller boats, sleights and on foot. The expedition stayed at Sabine island from August 27, 1869 to July 22, 1870. The Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Fjord. The fjord was named after Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary, who had made substantial donations to the expedition. Further researches of that area were made in 1899 by Alfred Gabriel Nathorst on the boat Antarctic.


Beginning of the expedition and ship wreck

The first map, lithographed in black and blue, shows the route of Hansa and Germania along the east coast of Greenland, north-west from Iceland. The two different lines, entering the map on the right-hand side, show the position of the two ships on July 12 and 13 1869, followed by a confusing search of the right path between ice floes, rotating in circles and going back and forth between east and west in the direction of the south. The lines also mark position of the boats on certain dates.

A week later, on July 20 the ships lost tracks of each other, although still circulating between the ice floes in the same area. After two weeks Germania found its way to the west towards the Sabine Ø island, as Hansa was still rotating in the same area. By mid September Hansa, severely beset, got trapped in ice and was drifting with the current in direction of the south by the Greenland coast. By the end of September the captain of trapped Hansa, Paul Friedrich Hegemann, ordered to build a shelter on one of the ice floes as a rescue rafts in case the ship would get squashed by ice. The crew built a house from coal dust briquettes from the ship on a drifting ice floe and stocked the supplies into the house. A month later, on October 19, the ship sank by the Liverpool Land, as marked on the map.

The crew rescued itself on the ice floe with the makeshift house and some smaller boats. After almost three months of drifting along the coast the ice floe broke into three parts and the crew had to build smaller and even more uncomfortable house on one of the remaining floating pieces of ice.

Only on May 7, they were drifted so close to the land they could reach it on their small boats, but it was not until June 13, they saw the first civilisation – a couple of houses on the coasts, what was the settlement of Frederiksdal on the southern point of Greenland. This more than 200 days lasting extraordinary journey between and on ice floes is marked with a line and dates, ending in the southernmost point on this map.  



The second map, lithographed in black, brown and red shows the exploration routes made by the scientist on the Germania in the time after the ships separated and return home a year later.

The Germania successfully reached the Sabine Ø Island on August 5 1869 after losing the sight of its accompanying ship Hansa. The island was a prearranged meeting point for the two ships. After days of waiting the explorers decided to sail in the direction of the North Pole, as the days of the summer were counted and the end of August the temperatures dropped again. The first try to sail to the North Pole is marked by a dated line on the map

After the ship stuck a thick ice barrier northeast of the Shannon Island they had to turn around and sail back to the Sabine Ø to wait for the winter to pass. They spent the almost a whole year in the so called Germania Bay, exploring and mapping the area on foot and sleighs. These routes are marked by dated red lines on the map, which also name the explorers.

The explores of Germania surveyed the area around the Sabine Island all the way to the Kap Bismarck on the north, naming the landmarks with Germanic names such as Franz-Josef Fjord, Grossglockner, Tyrol Fjord etc.

In July 1870 the Germania tried to sail again in the direction of the North Pole, but had to turn around again at almost the same spot as the year before due to thick ice. In July of the same year they sailed back to Germany.


These two maps were published in a rare first edition of the publication describing this second German Arctic expedition, issued 1873-74 in Leipzig under the title Die Zweite Deutsche Nordpolarfahrt in den Jahren 1869 und 1870 unter Führung des Kapitäns Koldewey. Verein für die Deutsche Nordpolfahrt in Bremen. The work was printed in two volumes, bound in four books.

The author of the work Julius von Payer (1841, Teplice, Czech Republic –1915, Bled, Slovenia) was an Austro-Hungarian military officer, mountaineer, arctic explorer, cartographer and landscape artist. Born in Teplice, in today’s Czech Republic, he started his career in the military and joined the Polar exploration in his twenties. After returning back to Europe as a celebrity, he married a rich divorcée from Frankfurt and pursuit a painting career as in Munich and Paris. After a divorce he moved back to Vienna, where he founded a painting school for girls. He remained active in the circle of explorers and travellers. He died in Bled (today Slovenia), a place he was visiting for years in order to follow at the time the famous “Rikli’s therapy”, which encouraged exposing the body to sun and air.


These two maps come from the first volume of Payer’s work..

These books are very rare on the market. We could only trace one complete set in the past generation. The first volume is rarer than the second one and it often has maps missing.


References: Arctic Bibliography 9022 – Chavanne 1961 – Henze III, 52 ff. – Nissen ZBI 2283.

Additional information


Place and Year