1712 J Senex & W Whiston Large Antique Astronomy Print of Planets & Solar System

Publisher : John Senex

  • Title : A Scheme of the Solar System with the Orbits of the Planets and Comets belonging thereto, Described from Dr. Halley\'s accurate Table of Comets Philosoph, Transact. No. 297. Founded on Sr. Isaac Newton\'s wonderful discoveries By Wm. Whiston M.A.
  • Size: 27in x 21in (585mm x 520mm)
  • Condition: (B) Good Condition
  • Date : 1712
  • Ref #:  80773

This large original important copper plate engraved antique map of the Planets & Solar System according to Edmund Halley, Isaac Newton & William Whiston by John Senex in 1712, was published in his Elephant Folio Atlas.
This map is rare and is unfortunately damaged, not unusual for these large maps. Approx 4in strip from the left side of the map & approx 1in from the bottom of the map is missing and has been mounted on contemporary 18th century paper. Still the majority of the map remains and is still a fascinating look into our knowledge of Solar System at the beginning of the 18th century. At the moment there a couple for sale online selling for between $1500 - $5000

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 27in x 21in (585mm x 520mm)
Plate size: - 27in x 21in (585mm x 520mm)
Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)

Margins: - Approx 4in strip from the left side of the map is missing
Plate area: - Two repairs to top of image
Verso: - Repairs as noted

A large and impressive chart of the solar system, paying particular attention to the motions of the planetary bodies and the paths of comets. The chart was originally engraved in 1712 by Senex to accompany the lectures of the controversial theologian, astronomer, and polymath William Whiston. The chart was issued again in 1720 by Senex alone, and finally by Bowles and Sayer in the 1760s. The System is shown as a number of concentric orbits with the Sun at centre, criss-crossed by the broad elliptical paths of a number of comets. At top, the planets are shown pictorially, clumped together in an attempt to demonstrate scale. As the chart was engraved at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the outer planets past Saturn are not included. Earths moon is accorded an honorary spot among the planets, while the moons of the other planets are shown in the grand scheme as Satellites. The alchemical symbols for the zodiac are included along the outside ring of the System, and the chart is absolutely covered by explanatory text.

William Whiston (1667-1752) was an English mathematician, theologian, historian and religious writer. Born in Leicestershire, Whiston was a leading figure in popularising the ideas of Sir Issac Newton, who was his mentor and teacher. Whiston was a professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge but was expelled from his position in 1710 due to his unorthodox religious beliefs and views. Whiston was a believer of Arianism, the idea that Christ is subordinate to God, the concept of Christ is based on the belief that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten by God the Father. He also rejected the notion of eternal torment in hellfire. What especially placed him against church authorities, was he viewed the Trinity as a lie after extensive personal research convinced him the origin of the Trinity teaching to be pagan. Whiston wrote A New Theory of the Earth, published in 1696, in which he presented a description of the divine creation of the Earth, postulating that the earth originated from the atmosphere of a comet.