COMPLETE SET OF “URANIA’S MIRROR” ASTRONOMICAL CARDS AND BOOK, English, 1825, published by Samuel Leigh of 18 Strand, London. This is a complete set of 32 hand-colored cards, each 5-1/2″ x 7-3/4″ (14 x 20 cm), printed with constellation figures, the brighter stars identified and pierced with holes and the cards backed with tissue paper, making visible the star patterns when held to a light. The cards are delicately colored, and contained in the original cardboard box. Some of the more unusual technology-related constellations are included, e.g., Machina Electrica, Officina Chemica, and Antlia Pneumatica. This rare early set of astronomical cards is complete, with bright colors, in fine condition noting light soiling and one card never colored. Some of the backing tissues bear old manuscript poems. The box, with its original title plate, is in fair condition.
This outfit is complete with Jehoshaphat Aspin’s 200-page Familiar Treatise on Astronomy to accompany Urania¹s Mirror. This book, published by Leigh in 1825, includes four fold-out plates, and is in good condition, noting a bit of foxing and corner staining. It has a very fine later half-leather binding. Aspin refers to Urania’s Mirror as “consisting of thirty-two cards, on which are represented all the constellations visible in the British empire, on a plan perfectly original, designed by a Lady.”
A good example of a most attractive but now hard-to-find astronomical set.
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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at [email protected].