'Site of the Twenty Feet Reflector at Feldhausen. Cape of Good Hope Sept 1834'

This print of the Herschels' 20ft telescope at Feldhausen, Cape of Good Hope, was the frontispiece for John F. W. Herschel's Results of Astronomical Observations Made During the Years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8 At the Cape of Good Hope, published in 1847.

The drawing was done by John FW Herschel, probably using his camera lucida. It was then engraved by George Henry Ford and printed by the publishers Smith, Elder & Co.

Feldhausen was the name of the house John and his wife Margaret bought to live in for the duration of their stay in South Africa. It was just outside Cape Town and housed John, Margaret, their growing family and all their servants. The telescope had been John's father William's favourite telescope while he was still alive, and had been the one restored by William and John together between 1816 and 1820 in part as an exercise in teaching John William's skills as an instrument maker. John however never took up instrument making.

Herschel refused government money for the trip preferring to fund the project himself and thereby avoid any obligations over timescales and the publication of his results.

Object Details

ID: PAD1906
Collection: Fine art
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Ford, George Henry; Herschel, John Frederick William Smith, Elder & Co
Places: Cape Town
Date made: 1847
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection
Measurements: Overall: 171 x 227 mm

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