The Orrery

This depiction of a grand orrery is headed "The Theory of the Heavens & the Earth explain'd according to the several Systems". It has a 12-sided base, with depictions of the zodiac signs on each side, within which the gearing would be contained while the planets were made to move apparently effortlessly on circles above. The whole is surmounted with rings forming half an armillary sphere. Tables of the movements of the planets appear to the sides of the main image and one of the smaller figures shows the Ptolemaic geocentric system.

The orrery depicted in this print may have been made by Thomas Wright of Portsmouth and later by B. Cole. The image was engraved in 1749 for John Hinton's Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure. This was published between 1747 and 1803, and contained "news, letters, debates ... and other arts and sciences; which may render it instructive and entertaining to gentry, merchants, farmers, and tradesmen".

Object Details

ID: PAJ3468
Collection: Fine art
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Hinton, John
Date made: 1749
People: Gabb, George Hugh
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Primary support: 192 mm x 227 mm; Mount: 483 mm x 318 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.