Catalog Archive
Auction 196, Lot 59

Later Edition of Fortin/Flamsteed Atlas with 34 Star Charts

"Vorstellung der Gestirne auf XXXIV Kupfertafeln nach der Pariser Ausgabe des Flamsteadschen Himmelsatlas...", Bode, Johann Elert

Subject: Celestial, Atlases

Period: 1782 (published)


Color: Black & White

11.2 x 8.6 inches
28.4 x 21.8 cm
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This is Bode's revised edition of Fortin's celestial atlas, which itself was based on Flamsteed's work. The atlas contains 34 charts, including 5 celestial hemispheres, two maps of nebulae and star clusters, a map of the alignment of the principal stars, and 26 star maps centered on principal constellations visible from Berlin. Although based on the work of Flamsteed and Fortin, Bode added over 1,500 newly discovered stars to his charts. The star charts feature allegorical constellations, and were each hinged to the edge of a page in the volume, so that they fold out of the volume. The frontispiece was engraved by D. Berger and features the title on the base of a column, at the foot of which sits a group of putti examining a celestial globe. Oblong Quarto; frontispiece; title page; [viii], 32 pp.; 40 pp.; 34 plates. Hardbound in contemporary tan paper-covered boards.

Johann Elert Bode (1747-1826), a self-taught astronomer, served as director of the astronomical observatory of the Berlin Academy of Science for nearly 40 years. He edited the Astonomisches Jahrbuch every year from 1774 to 1826, and published several popular astronomy texts and atlases.

References: Kanas, pp. 176-77, 179-83.

Condition: B+

Condition grade is for the plates, which are in very good condition with scattered foxing, light soiling, and occasional toning. The text is lightly toned and foxed, and there is a stain along the bottom edge of a handful of leafs. The frontispieces and title page are also foxed and soiled and are nearly detached from the volume. The covers are heavily worn and stained with abrasions and bumped corners.

Estimate: $2,400 - $3,000

Sold for: $1,600

Closed on 2/7/2024