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UNDERSTANDING THE HEAVENS: PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION

DUTCH MINIATURE PLANETARIUM, AFTER THE DISCOVERIES OF GIOVANNI DOMENICO CASSINI AND HIS GRANDSON CÉSAR-FRANÇOIS CASSINI DE THURY (CASSINI III), CA 1749
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
24

UNDERSTANDING THE HEAVENS: PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION

DUTCH MINIATURE PLANETARIUM, AFTER THE DISCOVERIES OF GIOVANNI DOMENICO CASSINI AND HIS GRANDSON CÉSAR-FRANÇOIS CASSINI DE THURY (CASSINI III), CA 1749
Estimate
12,00018,000
LOT SOLD. 17,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

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New York

DUTCH MINIATURE PLANETARIUM, AFTER THE DISCOVERIES OF GIOVANNI DOMENICO CASSINI AND HIS GRANDSON CÉSAR-FRANÇOIS CASSINI DE THURY (CASSINI III), CA 1749
A gilt brass geared miniature folding planetarium with central gilt brass sun, and wooden planets Mercury, Venus, Earth (with printed paper gores) and its moon rotating around sun on a geared arm, Mars, Jupiter (with paper rings, on folding arm with 2 hinges, plus 4 separate arms for each of its satellites), and Saturn (with gilt brass rings, on folding arm with 4 hinges, plus separate arms for 5 satellites), hinged arms all engraved with information on the distances from the Sun, orbits, and the like. The whole mounted onto a metal base marked with the months and the signs of the zodiac in Dutch. Incorporating the 1675 observations on Saturn of Cassini I, but not the 1781 discovery of Uranus.

WITH: Autograph manuscript notebook in Dutch, 6 pp (70 x 91 mm), in original 18th century marbled wrappers, titled "Corte verklaring van het Planetarium me de Stelling van Mr. Cassini. Uynekenaar van de Coninklijte Societijt te London van de accademie te Berlyn..." Recording the planetary observations made by Cassini in 1749, with details on the dates on which each sign of the zodiac was observed, as well as the movements of the planets, and details on their orbits.

Planetarium and book housed together in round turned wood box. 


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Provenance

Christie's 4 October 1995 (attributed to being after Giovanni Maria Cassini)

Literature

see "The Cassinis" IN: Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol III

Catalogue Note

A DELIGHTFUL MINIATURE FOLDING PLANETARIUM BASED UPON THE OBSERVATIONS OF GIAN DOMENICO CASSINI AND HIS GRANDSON CÉSAR-FRANÇOIS CASSINI DE THURY (CASSINI III).

Gian Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) was the first in a line of great astronomers who settled in France. Amongst his many discoveries, were the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th satellites of Saturn (Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and Iapetus) between the years 1671-1684 (after Huygens' discovery of the 1st, Titan, in 1655), as well as the division of the rings of Saturn in 1675, now known as Cassini's Division. These observations are reflected in the present planetarium. His Grandson, César-François (Cassini III) was a member of the French Académie des Sciences and a foreign member of the Berlin Academy. His astronomical work consisted primarily of observations of lunar and solar eclipses, occultations of stars and planets, and the like, some of which are recorded in the accompanying manuscript. 

History of Science & Technology, Including the Nobel Prize and Papers of Richard P. Feynman

|
New York