antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Aquarius, Capricorn) Flamsteed and Fortin. Atlas Celeste de Flamsteed…, Paris 1776. Sold

Plate 21 “Le Capricorn et Le Verseau“

Original celestial engraving from Jean-Nicholas Fortin edition of, Atlas celeste de Flamsteed, approuve par l’Academie royale des sciences, et publie sous le privilege de cette compagnie, published in Paris 1776. These maps were originally published in 1729 by John Flamsteed’s (English 1646-1719) widow. Flamsteed, a mathematician and scientist, was the very first English “Astronomer Royal” with an allowance of £100 a year. He was tasked with "rectifieing the Tables of the motions of the Heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired Longitude of places for Perfecteing the Art of Navigation.” A brilliant scientist and observer, the publication ow these maps were delayed by years of rancor between Flamsteed and Sir Isaac Newton who with Edmund Halley had published a preliminary version of Flamsteed’s Historia coelestis Britannica without crediting him as the author. Flamsteed denounced the publication and destroyed as many copies as he could.

Jean Fortin (French 1750-1831) was a maker of scientific instruments respected for his creation of the barometer. Fortin got hold of the old Flamsteed celestial charts, made smaller more commercially sized plates for printing and over the years updated them as need dictated. Fortin was responsible for these quarto sized charts that show the brightest naked eye stars with constellation figures.

We are pleased indeed to offer these beautifully hand colored and wonderfully accessible charts for sale.

Hand colored copperplate engraving on laid paper.
8 5/8 x 10 inches sheet size.
Excellent condition.
Archivally framed.