A Celestial Planisphere, or Map of the Heavens.
1835 (dated) 15.5 x 21.5 in (39.37 x 54.61 cm)
This is a rare and beautifully hand colored map of the night sky by Elijah Burritt. Centered on the ecliptic Line, this map identifying the various zones associated with each major constellation. The Milky Way is shaded in. A scale exhibiting the sun's place in the ecliptic at various times of the year appears at the base of the map. This map, like all of Burritt's charts, is based on the celestial cartographic work of Pardies and Doppelmayr. The map was engraved by W. G. Evans under the direction of E. H. Burritt and issued as plate no. VIII in the New Edition of F. J. Huntington's Atlas, Designed To Illustrate The Geography of The Heavens.
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.
Huntington and Savage, Atlas, Designed To Illustrate The Geography Of The Heavens, New Edition, 1835.
Very good. Some spotting and overall age toning. Minor wear along original centerfold. Verso repair near bottom margin along centerfold.
Rumsey 2853.005. Kanas, N., Star Maps, p. 277-78. Kidwell, Peggy Aldrich, Elijah Burritt and the 'Geography of the Heavens.', Sky & Telescope 69 (Jan 1985).