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Atlas Coelestis]
[London, John Seller and John Senex, ca 1675- ca 1721 - Folio (665 x 385 mm), 8 double-page engraved astronomical charts by Halley, Seller, Senex, and Harris, all but one with a green marker thread; a fine copy in contemporary vellum-backed marbled boards, spine worn, lettered on spine 'Stelleri Zodiacus Stellatus'. A fine copy of Seller's elusive Atlas Coelestis, an assembly of exceptionally rare astronomical maps which have complex sources and issues, mostly relating to the pioneering work of Edmund Halley. This work contains Halley's groundbreaking map of the stars of the southern hemisphere, as well as the Seller-Halley zodiacal map, both the first of their kind.These maps represent the need at the end of the seventeenth century to depict the greatly expanding number of star observations and positions made principally by Halley and Flamsteed, a major revolution both in astronomy and celestial cartography. These charts originated with Halley and John Seller, and were reissued and enlarged by Seller's successor John Senex. Senex, 'a highly successful cartographer, engraver, and map and book publisher, worked at the Globe over Against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleetstreet, London. He closely collaborated with leading scientists, notably Edmond Halley and William Whiston, and in 1728 was himself elected to fellowship in the Royal Society.'In England during the first quarter of the eighteenth century there was a great demand for a reliable and extensive star catalog and atlas. In 1712 Halley published a pirated edition of Flamsteed's catalog, which Flamsteed acquired and burned three years later. Through the charts and globes of Senex, however, the Halley/Flamsteed catalog was widely available. Even after 1729, when the authorized version of Flamsteed's atlas appeared, because of the convenience of the single-sheet maps and their relatively low cost, Senex's maps continued to be popular both with astronomers and navigators' (Warner, The sky explored p 239).The publishing history of these charts has never been fully elucidated. As Warner notes, 'the internal relations between scientists, cartographers, publishers, and dealers were often so complex as to obscure the specific contributions of each. What did Seller contribute to Halley's planispheres? What exactly did Halley contribute to Seller's zodiac. Clearly, cartographers in late-seventeenth-century England engaged in cooperation, competition, imitation, and piracy, and thus individual attributions are often more useful as identifications than as evidence of authorship' (p 237, under Seller).The maps are as follows:1. Stellarum fixarum hemisphaerium Boreale. The Northern Hemisphere Projected on the Plane of the Aequator in which all the Stars contain'd in the Britannick Catalogue (as Publish'd by Dr. Halley) are carefully laid down and adapted to the beginning of the year 1690. Warner p 242 4A [Senex]. 'Magnitudes 1-7, novas and nebulas, well distinguished. Flamsteed's catalog, developed from telescopic observations, was the first to include seventh-magnitude stars; Senex's maps, based on Flamsteed's catalog, were the first depicting these telescopic stars. The positions of novas (i.e. new and variable stars) and nebulas on Senex's maps were derived from Halley' (Warner).2. Stellarum fixarum hemisphaerium Australe. The Southern Hemisphere Projected on the Plane of the Aequator in which all the Stars contain'd in the Britannick Catalogue and those Observ'd by Sr. Edm. Halley at the Isl. of St. Helena are carefully layd down for the Year 1690 by Joseph Harris? , engraved and sold by John Senex. Warner p 243 4B [Senex]. Based on Flamsteed and especially on Halley's Catalogus stellarum australium, 1679, the first detailed catalogue and map of the stars of the southern hemisphere.3. Stellarum fixarum hemisphaerium Boreale, in quo omnes stellae in Catalogo Britannico descriptae in plano Eclipticae, eo situ quem anno 1690? Delineavit et sculpsit Johan Senex. R.S.S. Warner p 243 5A. 4. Stellarum fixarum hemisphaerium Australe, in plano Ecl
      [Bookseller: WP Watson Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-02-28           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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