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1856 Burritt - Huntington Chart of Star Clusters and Double Stars


Double Stars and Clusters.
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Price:   $$$ (item sold)
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Title:    Double Stars and Clusters.

Description:    This rare chart of star clusters and double stars was engraved W. G. Evans of New York for Burritt’s Atlas to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens. Notes important clusters and star systems including the Pleiades, the Perseus cluster, the Andromeda system, and the Polaris system. This unusual chart appeared in the 1856 edition of Burritt’s Atlas to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens and was not present in earlier editions.

Date:    1856

Source:    Burritt, E., Atlas Designed to Illustrate Burritt's Geography of the Heavens, 1856 edition.    

References:    Kanas, N., Star Maps, p. 277-78. Kidwell, Peggy Aldrich. "Elijah Burritt and the 'Geography of the Heavens.'." Sky & Telescope 69 (Jan 1985).

Cartographer:    Elijah Burritt and F. J. Huntington produced their important Burritt's Geography of the Heavens out of their offices in Hartford, Connecticut, from approximately 1833 to 1856. The work, while primarily educational in nature, was the seminal American geography of the period. Much of the nomenclature they developed, especially regarding the visible stars and constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, is still in use today. The Atlas itself consisted of eight charts depicting the Heavens seasonally and hemispherically. Constellations were depicted figurally though only the most important stars were noted. The Geography of the Heavens was the last decorative Celestial reference in the 19th century. Burrit's Geography was among the most prized possessions of fantasy / horror writer H.P. Lovecraft who wrote:
"My maternal grandmother, who died when I was six, was a devoted lover of astronomy, having made that a specialty at Lapham Seminary, where she was educated; and though she never personally showed me the beauties of the skies, it is to her excellent but somewhat obsolete collection of astronomical books that I owe my affection for celestial science. Her copy of Burritt's Geography of the Heavens is today the most prized volume in my library." (to Maurice W. Moe, 1 January 1915)
As a side note Elijah Burritt is the brother of the more famous Elihu Burritt, who was known for his philanthropic and social work. Click here for a list of rare maps from Elijah Burritt and F. J. Huntington.

Size:   Printed area measures 13.5 x 14.5 inches (34.29 x 36.83 centimeters)

Condition:    Very Good condition. Minor overall toning. Blank on verso.

Code:   Clusters-burrit-1856 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)


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