38
38

PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT NEW ENGLAND PHYSICIAN

VERY RARE GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND ENGRAVED BRASS ORRERY
SIGNED "MADE BY ED. BEAVESS, LONDON, 1760," LIKELY MADE FOR HIM BY THE WORKSHOP OF BENJAMIN COLE OF LONDON.
Estimate
40,00060,000
JUMP TO LOT
38

PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT NEW ENGLAND PHYSICIAN

VERY RARE GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND ENGRAVED BRASS ORRERY
SIGNED "MADE BY ED. BEAVESS, LONDON, 1760," LIKELY MADE FOR HIM BY THE WORKSHOP OF BENJAMIN COLE OF LONDON.
Estimate
40,00060,000
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

VERY RARE GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND ENGRAVED BRASS ORRERY
SIGNED "MADE BY ED. BEAVESS, LONDON, 1760," LIKELY MADE FOR HIM BY THE WORKSHOP OF BENJAMIN COLE OF LONDON.
An 11 inch-diameter brass orrery on mahogany base, ecliptic ring engraved with the months of the year, the signs of the zodiac, and with the months divided into 30 or 31 days, "Arctick Circle", and Tropick of Cancer"(one section repaired), equinoctial colure divided into 360 sections, by degrees of 10, central gilt-brass sun, orbited by Mercury, Venus, Earth & Moon, all in bovine horn, the Earth & moon on separate geared rotating disc painted in dark blue with gold stars, the whole mounted onto a larger dark blue disc, painted with gold rays emanating from the sun. The whole operated by a manual hand-crank at side, and driven by a geared mechanism. Crack to mahogany base, one some wear to blue paint.
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Literature

Calvert, H.R. Scientific Trade Cards in the Science Museum Collection. London: H.M.S.O., 1971; Clifton, Gloria. Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers, 1550-1851. London: National Maritime Museum, 1995; Turner, Early Scientific Instruments Europe 1400-1800. London: Sotheby's Publications, 1987

Catalogue Note

This type of geared model of the solar system, known as a tellurium, finds its origins in an instrument conceived by Thomas Tompion and George Graham in 1712. As was common at the time, this instrument was then copied and improved by John Rowley, a master of mechanics to George I. Rowley also made a number of instruments for Charles Boyle, the 4th Earl of Orrery. It is from this type of tellurium that similar geared models have garnered the name 'orrery". Rowley's apprentice Thomas Wright (d. 1767) succeeded Rowley, and an orrery very similar to the present example was depicted on his trade card. Wright was in turn succeeded by his apprentice, Benjamin Cole (I) (d. 1766) and his son, Benjamin Cole (II), who was active from 1766-1782.

The Coles would become the some of the most important retailers of mathematical instruments in 18th century London, and their trade card was engraved with a magnificent "Grand Orrery." As Turner points out in Early Scientific Instruments: Europe 1400-1800, at the time in London, the highly specialized trade in scientific instruments was made up of a network of "chamber masters," with each of these masters producing a single type of instrument, coordinating both the manufacture and retail sales for their makers. This is supported by the observation of distinct similarities between those orreries by Rowley, Wright, and Cole. 

Little is know about the maker of the present orrery, Edward Beavess. He is only known from a 1759 newspaper advertisement which notes that he was established "two doors from the Brown Bear in Seacole Lane, Snow Hill, London." he was perhaps a retailer, and it is likely that the present orrery was manufactured for him in the Cole workshops. 

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

|
New York