Three Dimensional Celestial Instrument, So-Called Orrery
Decorative Arts and Design
On View: Decorative Art, 19th Century, 4th Floor
After centuries of thinking that the Sun revolved around the Earth, Western science agreed that the Sun is at the center of our solar system. Complex and beautiful scientific instruments such as this took their place beside works of art in collectors’ display cabinets and the libraries of scholars as one tool to explain the world around us. It is thought that the first model like this was made for the Earl of Orrery, in 1704, and from him it gets its name.
Wood, metal, pigment
component 'a' - the planets: 16 x 40 x 17 in. (40.6 x 101.6 x 43.2 cm)
component 'b' - Lunar model: 13 x 22 1/2 x 8 in. (33 x 57.2 x 20.3 cm)
as installed in Milligan room. display volume of 'a' with 'b': 16 x 61 x 20 in. (40.6 x 154.9 x 50.8 cm) (show scale)
Brooklyn Museum Collection
Three Dimensional Celestial Instrument, So-Called Orrery, 19th century. Wood, metal, pigment, component 'a' - the planets: 16 x 40 x 17 in. (40.6 x 101.6 x 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 53.260a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 53.260a-b_overall_installation_PS4.jpg)
overall, 53.260a-b_overall_installation_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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