Catalog Archive
Auction 181, Lot 39

Impressive Chart Popularizing Isaac Newton's Ideas

"A Scheme of the Solar System with the Orbits of the Planets and Comets Belonging Thereto, Describ'd from Dr. Halley's Accurate Table of Comets...", Senex, John

Subject: Solar System

Period: 1724 (circa)


Color: Black & White

23.8 x 27 inches
60.5 x 68.6 cm

This is William Whiston's impressive chart of the solar system, engraved and published by John Senex. Whiston succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge and helped to popularize his predecessor's ideas. The chart shows the orbits and relative sizes of the planets. It traces the orbits of comets as well, drawing from the work of English astronomer Dr. Edmond Halley. Copious amounts of descriptive text surrounds the chart. Many subsequent editions of the chart were issued in the decades following the first edition of 1712, with Thomas Bowles, Robert Sayer, and John Bowles publishing an edition in the 1760s. Senex's St. Dunstan's Church address in the imprint dates this edition to circa 1724. A price of 2 shillings, 6 pence appears at bottom. The lot includes an associated table of contents.

References: Kanas #7.6.2; cf. Warner, p. 244 6a-8.

Condition: B

Issued folding, now flat, with several long separations and short edge tears that have been closed with archival materials on verso. There is light soiling, some extraneous creases at left, and a chip at top left, with a small area of missing text and border redrawn in facsimile.

Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800

Sold for: $900

Closed on 2/10/2021