Rare engraved portrait of Henry Coley with celestial globe and compasses, c.1700

Rare engraved portrait of Henry Coley with celestial globe and compasses, c.1700

Stock Number: 24058


Fine engraving of the astrologer and mathematician Henry Coley (1633–1704), this version only recorded in the Wellcome Collection


160 x 236mm



Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Bookshop, Scientific, Scientific Books, Drawing Instruments, Globes & Orreries


A fine engraving of Henry Coley, the noted 17th century astrologer and mathematician, showing him with an astrological diagram, compasses and celestial globe, elegantly inscribed “Effigies Henrici Coley Philomat, Nati. Civitat. Oxon: 8bris 18 1633”.

This early print is made from a reworked plate dated 1688: in this version Coley’s appearance has been substantially altered. For the 1688 plate see: https://colenda.library.upenn.edu/catalog/81431-p3df6kc1x

This version is recorded in the 1748 Catalogue of English Heads: Or, An Account of about Two Thousand Prints, p. 48, and a copy is held at the Wellcome Institute (R. Burgess, Portraits of doctors & scientists in the Wellcome Institute, London 1973, no. 645.1). See final listing images for these two references.

Coley was a self-taught mathematician, who became an extremely successful astrologer in Restoration London, also acting as amanuensis to William Lily. The globe here is significant not only for its astrological use, but also because Coley was connected to the London instrument makers, especially Joseph Moxon, Mathematics Made Easy he edited for the 1692 edition.

Very good condition, sold in an attractive early frame.


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GB Boris Jardine Rare Books

Boris Jardine Rare Books specializes in history of science and technology, and scientific instruments.

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