John Flamsteed

Virgo Star Chart, Atlas Coelestis

Circa 1753

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Description

A star chart from the second edition of Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis.

  • Hand-colored sign of the zodiac heightened with gold and silver.
  • Engraved by John Mynde.
  • Framed and glazed.


Charles II founded the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in 1675, and in the same year, John Flamsteed (1646–1719) was appointed the first Astronomer Royal. Flamsteed began to collect data on the stars as observed using a telescope in order to create a star atlas showing the celestial sky above Greenwich. This was a huge undertaking and Flamsteed didn't live to see its publication, which was finally produced by his widow in 1729, ten years after his death. The stars were positioned and the astrological coordinates drawn by Abraham Sharp, while the figures in the constellations were after drawings by Sir James Thornhill and others. In his atlas, Flamsteed corrects the errors in position made by earlier astronomers such as Bayer in the 17th century. It was considered the first significant contribution of the Observatory, and the numerical Flamsteed designations for stars are still in use.

Condition Report
Revive
Fair
Star iconGood
Very Good
Like New

Not examined out of frame.

Wear consistent with age and use.

Dimensions
Height: 26.77 inches / 68 cm
Width: 31.63 inches / 80.34 cm
Depth: 1.5 inches / 3.81 cm
Materials
Paper, Wood
Period
Georgian
Decorative Style
Traditional Style
Country of Origin
England
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