Lot 6
  • 6

Tellurian; Trippensee Co.

4,000 - 6,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • The Trippensee Planetarium. Detroit, Mich: The Trippensee Mfg. Co, 1908 
  • paper maiche, plaster, metal, brass
Trippensee tellurian (14 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.), fitted with a 3 inch (7.6 cm) diameter terrestrial globe with 12 color printed gores over papier-mâché and plaster, signed within shield shaped cartouche in Pacific, with a 1 inch diameter wooden moon painted black and white rotating around it on a geared metal arm, the two revolving around a central 6 inch (14.8 cm) diameter brass sun which has a wooden 2 inch diameter planet Venus painted black & white rotating around it on a metal arm, all mounted on geared mechanisms on a maple arm with metal label and small compass, on turned wood stand with round brass base printed with seasons, signs of the zodiac and months. Some soiling to paper gores, paint chips to moon and Venus, some oxidation to metal components. 

Catalogue Note

An excellent example of a Trippensee tellurian, a model which demonstrates the rotation of the moon around the earth, and the rotations of the earth and Venus around the sun, as well as the phases of the moon and Venus from the sun. The Trippensee Manufacturing Company came into being in 1905 when Frank Trippensee and his brother bought out the Laing Company — a Detroit based firm that manufactured planetariums utilizing a simple string and pulley system. Trippensee devised a more complex system using a chain drive and gears, which proved remarkably successful.