image hevelius_j_machina_coelestis_021
Image number: RS.17695
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Telescope

Date

1673

Sitter

Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687, German/Polish), Astronomer

Creator

Isaac Saal (fl. 1673-1679, Polish), Engraver

After

Andreas Stech (b.1635, Polish), Painter

Object type

Library reference

44015

Material

Technique

Dimensions

height (plate): 315mm
width (plate): 365mm

Subject

Content object

Description

Johannes Hevelius' 150 foot refracting telescope.

The lenses are arranged inside a wooden trough, and the trough is suspended from a 90 foot pole. Work men and horses can be seen at the base of the telescope, operating it via a system of ropes and pulleys, and Hevelius stands at the eyepiece gesturing skyward in the bottom right corner [as viewed]. A crowd gathers to observe the spectacle, and a town, likely Danzig, is visible in the background.

Plate 21 from Johannes Hevelius' Machinae coelestis pars prior…, Vol. 1.

Inscribed below: ‘A. Stech Delin I. Saal Sculps’

Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) Polish astronomer was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1664. He devoted much of his life to constructing astronomical instruments, and developed a well-equipped observatory in Danzig, Poland.

Object history

The Royal Society possess a copy of Volume 1 of Machinae coelestis pars prior… only. Volume 2 is rare, as many copies were burned in the fire of Hevelius' home and observatory in 1679.

Associated place

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