With an Early Plate ofthe Orrery
ASTRONOMICAL DIALOGUES BETWEEN A GENTLEMAN AND A LADY:
WHEREIN THE DOCTRINE OF THE SPHERE,
USES OF THE GLOBES,
AND THE ELEMENTS OF ASTRONOMY AND GEOGRAPHY ARE EXPLAIN'D
ESCRIPTION OF THE FAMOUS
NSTRUMENT CALLED THE
London, T. Wood for Benjamin Cowse, 1719. First edition. 8vo. vi, 184pp.
Contemporary paneled calf. Spine in six compartments, red leather lettering label, gilt;
board tooled and stained in a 'Cambridge' design.
Illustrated with 5 numbered plates, three of them folding, illustrating the solar system,
a globe, eclipses, etc. And with an additional folding plate of the Orrery.
Harris (1666-1719) was a cleric and lecturer in science and also a member of the Royal
Academy. Clock makers George Graham and Thomas Tompion built the first modern
orrery around 1704 in England. Graham gave the first model, or its design, to the
celebrated instrument maker John Rowley of London to make a copy for Prince
Eugene of Savoy. Rowley was commissioned to make another copy for his patron
Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, from which the device took its name in English.
We note a nearly imperceptible tidemark extending about half an inch. The hinges are
cracked but strong, and seem to have been repaired internally at an early date. A 1723
ownership signature is on the front free end paper, and a second signature, partially
cut away, but dated 1816, is across the top margin of the title page. Otherwise this is in
very good condition.