Catalog Archive
Auction 130, Lot 868

"[Lot of 2] Smith's Illustrated Astronomy… [and] The Twentieth Century Atlas of Popular Astronomy", Smith, Asa

Subject: Celestial Atlas

Period: 1850 (dated)



9.5 x 12 inches
24.1 x 30.5 cm
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Smith's Illustrated Astronomy…, Asa Smith, New York, 1850, 9.5" x 12". This early school astronomy text book is filled with full page black on white woodblock illustrations. All of the illustrations are quite nice, but some standouts are: Solar System, an early depiction of sun spots as "Remarkable Spots that have been Discovered Upon the Sun," Saturn, Orbits of the Planets with the Zodiac, Terrestrial & Celestial Globes, Binary or Double Stars, Nebulae or Clusters of Stars, and four great plates showing the full northern sky with all constellations for each season. Smith produced this rare astronomy book when he was Principal of Public School No. 12 in New York City. Pictorial paper boards, leather spine, 4to, 68pp, frontis "The Largest Telescopes in the World," 32 images on 24 pages, text. Published by Cady & Burgess, New York. Text pages with a scattered foxing and some soiling, but the illustrations are very good. Covers rubbed, abraded and bumped, spine very rough, contents mostly tight. The second book is sunned on spine to include 20% of covers. A few spots, contents fine. (B+)

The Twentieth Century Atlas of Popular Astronomy, Thomas Heath, B.A., Edinburgh, circa 1903. This quarto book has 21 double-page tipped- in colored plates. The plates are beautifully printed and cover the Solar System, Planets, Solar Spots, The Moon, Eclipses, Comets, Double Stars, Tracks of Meteors and several plates describing the Stars and Constellations. Also a remarkable and colorful plate "Spectrum Analysis Applied to the Sun and Stars" that compares the spectrum of the Sun, Vega, Nebula and a New Star to that of Hydrogen, Sodium, Magnesium, Bismuth and Calcium. The American astronomer Henry Draper made a spectrum photograph of Vega in 1872, the first time spectrum analysis was employed for astronomy. A remarkable set of plates. Blue cloth bound, 4to, colored frontis, title, 121pp, index, 21 plates. The plates are tipped in and the attaching backstrap in some cases is brittle with a few plates loose. Spine sunned. The plates themselves are fine, brilliant.



See individual descriptions.

Estimate: $400 - $500


Closed on 12/2/2009