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Fine manuscript copies of a series of instructive celestial cards

Stock No. 23048 Category: Tags: , , , , , , Cartographer: [LEIGH, Samuel.]

Urania's Mirror.
n.d., c.1825. 13 ink and watercolour drawings on perforated cards, with slipcase with mss. title label. Each card 140 x 200mm.

£1,250

In stock

Thirteen maps of constellations visible from Britain, depicted in their classical form, perforated so the prime stars would shine through when each card was held up to light. They are hand-drawn, very close copies of some of the 32 cards published c.1824 by Samuel Leigh in his 'Urania's Mirror', reproducing the card size, the holes of different sizes (representing the apparent magnitude of each star), the colours used and the tissue backing.
The cards show four zodiacs (Taurus, Gemini, Leo and Virgo) and constellations including Draco & Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Perseus & Medusa's Head, Canis Major, Ursa Major, Auriga, Bootes and Orion.
According to contemporary advertisements, the original 'Urania's Mirror' was designed by 'a young Lady,' to make the study of astronomy 'familiar and amusing'; it is possible that these cards were produced as a scholastic exercise for the same purpose.

The author of the 'Mirror' has been identified as Reverend Richard Rouse Bloxam, an assistant master at Rugby School. Perhaps his wish to remain anonymous stems from his plagiarism of the designs of the constellations from Alexander Jamieson's 'A Celestial Atlas' of 1821. However the innovation of the perforations seems to have been his.

Additional information

Dimensions 200 × 140 mm
Cartographer

Date

1825

Extra Info

Urania's Mirror.

Publication

n.d., c.1825. 13 ink and watercolour drawings on perforated cards, with slipcase with mss. title label. Each card 140 x 200mm.

Condition

A good example.

References