|Method||Copper engraved with hand colour|
|Published||A. Bell Prin. Wal. Sculptor fecit [London, c.1790]|
|Dimensions||230 x 180 mm|
A plate from the Encyclopædia Britannica, from the section on 'Astronomy,' illustrating proportional magnitudes and distances of the planets. The heliocentric model stretches as far as the Georgium Sidus, 'The Georgian Star,' the name originally proposed for Uranus by its discoverer Herschel.
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 to edges of sheet. Small yellow ink stain to bottom left corner of plate. Blank on verso.