Auction 124, Lot 48

"Astronomie Pl. 2", Diderot, Denis

Subject: Celestial

Period: 1790 (circa)

Publication: Encyclopedie

Color: Hand Color

14.3 x 9 inches
36.3 x 22.9 cm

This plate features twin celestial hemispheres displaying the constellations in allegorical form. The map is copied from Pierre-Charles le Monnier's maps of 1743. In 1736-37 Le Monnier participated in an expedition to Lapland to measure the length of a degree of terrestrial latitude near the north pole. In commemoration of this work, he grouped some circumpolar stars into the new constellation of Le Reene (the reindeer). On Diderot's map the figure of Orion is added in the upper left corner.

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.

References: Kanas #7.13.2; cf Warner pg. 159-160 #1A &B.

Condition: B+

There is a little minor toning on the centerfold.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $150

Closed on 5/7/2008