A Celestial Planisphere, or Map of the Heavens.
1835 (dated) 16 x 22 in (40.64 x 55.88 cm)
This rare hand colored map of the night sky was engraved W. G. evans of New York for Burritt's 1835 edition of the Atlas to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens. 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 map. This map, like all of Burritt's charts, is based on the celestial cartographic work of Pardies and Doppelmayr. Dated and copyrighted: 'Hartford Published by F. J. Huntington 1835. entered according to Act of Congress Sept. 1st 1835 by F. J. Huntington of the state of Connecticut.'
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.
Burritt, E., Atlas, Designed to Illustrate the Geography of the Heavens, 1835 edition.
Good. Typical overall toning and some soiling. Original centerfold. Minor wear along fold lines. Verso repair extending 1 inch near left margin. Professionally flattened and backed with archival Japanese tissue for stability.
Rumsey 2853.003. Kanas, N., Star Maps, p. 277-78. Kidwell, Peggy Aldrich, Elijah Burritt and the 'Geography of the Heavens.', Sky & Telescope 69 (Jan 1985).