Astronomy. Plate LXIV / Astronomy. Plate LXV

Method Copper engraved with hand colour
Artist Bell, Andrew
Published A. Bell Sculpt. [London, c.1790]
Dimensions 235 x 180 mm and 225 x 175 mm
Notes A pair of plates from the Encyclopædia Britannica, from the section on 'Astronomy,' showing the principal 'fixed stars' of the Northern and Southern hemisphere in twin hemispheres. The hemispheres are centred on the Poles, Arctic and Antarctic respectively, with the north and south boundaries of the zodiac marked as a pair of arced limits labelled with the months. The other constellations are labelled, but not shown pictorially. Around the hemispheres, a number of smaller diagrams show the phases of the moon, illustrations of sun spots, a quadrant, and a comet.

Andrew Bell (1726-1809) was a Scottish engraver, printer, and publisher, best known for the numerous copper-engravings he produced for the Encyclopædia Britannica, a work he co-founded with Colin Macfarquhar. Bell was an eccentric, emphasising his small stature by riding the largest horses available to him, as well as obscuring his abnormally large nose with a false one made of papier-mâché. By the 4th edition of the Encyclopædia, Bell had produced over 500 plates on all subjects, including a series of three for the entry on 'midwifery' that so shocked King George III that he ordered them destroyed.

Condition: Minor time toning and printers creases to margins. Blank on verso of both sheets.A plate from the Encyclopædia Britannica, from the section on 'Astronomy,' featuring a table of alchemical symbols representing the signs of the zodiac, an illustration of the Milky Way by Herschel, and a large illustration of galaxies surrounded by an ouroboros, suggestive of the infinite nature of the universe.

Andrew Bell (1726-1809) was a Scottish engraver, printer, and publisher, best known for the numerous copper-engravings he produced for the Encyclopædia Britannica, a work he co-founded with Colin Macfarquhar. Bell was an eccentric, emphasising his small stature by riding the largest horses available to him, as well as obscuring his abnormally large nose with a false one made of papier-mâché. By the 4th edition of the Encyclopædia, Bell had produced over 500 plates on all subjects, including a series of three for the entry on 'midwifery' that so shocked King George III that he ordered them destroyed.

Condition: Minor creasing to centre of right side of platemark. Blank on verso.
Framing mounted
Price £200.00
Stock ID 50476

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