Prospectus intra Cameram Stellatam [View inside the Star Room]

A rare print showing Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, and two assistants at work in the Octagon Room at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Portraits of the Observatory's royal patrons, Charles II and James II, are above the door, and celestial observations are being made using a telescope and large quadrant. Shipping on the River Thames is visible through the left-hand window.

This view by Francis Place was originally made during the first few years of the Observatory, around 1676-80. This was one of nine prints used to illustrate Edmond Halley's rare edition of Flamsteed's 'Historiae Coelestis'. The edition was not approved by Flamsteed, and he destroyed many copies. Lettered versions of the print include the title in Latin 'Prospectus intra Cameram Stellatam'. This version is a proof before letters and therefore particularly rare. The print was an important source for the Museum's refurbishment of the Octagon Room in the 1980s.

Object Details

ID: ZBA1808
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Place, Francis
Date made: 1712
Exhibition: Unseen: The Lives of Looking by Dryden Goodwin
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Frame: 203 mm x 308 mm
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