Auction 124, Lot 47

"Astronomie Pl. 3", Diderot, Denis

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1790 (circa)

Publication: Encyclopedie

Color: Hand Color

13.4 x 9 inches
34 x 22.9 cm

Interesting sheet containing several engravings including a large celestial chart of the southern sky showing the allegorical representations of the constellations. Also included are a depiction of a celestial globe, diagrams of the various solar system theories, and a chart showing how distance is measured according to the parallels. The celestial chart shows the observation of Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, a French astronomer noted for his catalogue of nearly 10,000 southern stars, including 42 nebulous objects and 14 new constellations pictured as scientific instruments and tools.

The Encyclopédie was published under the direction of Diderot with articles written by the most prominent philosophers of the time. These great minds collaborated in the goal of assembling and disseminating the fruits of accumulated knowledge and learning. Containing 72,000 articles written by more than 140 contributors, it was a massive reference work for the arts and sciences that served to propagate Enlightened ideas. Due to problems of censorship, the first edition was issued over a period of 21 years, in an original printing of approximately 4,000 copies.


Condition: B+

There is a hole in the top margin, not affecting image, and some minor toning on the centerfold.

Estimate: $200 - $240


Closed on 5/7/2008