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RUSSIAN STAR CHART – Northern Celestial Hemisphere with the Magnitude of the Stars: Тав. XXX.

650.00

 

Extremely rare – the star chart of the Northern Celestial Hemisphere with nomenclature in Russian Cyrillic, from the first Russian celestial atlas, issued in St. Petersburg in 1829 by Kornelius Khristianovich Reissig.


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Description

This intriguing and extremely rare star chart depicts the principal stars and constellations of the Northern Celestial Hemisphere, from Kornelius Reissig’s Созвѣздія представленныя на XXX таблицахъ… [Translation: Presentation of Constellations in 30 Tables…] (St. Petersburg, 1829), the first Russian Celestial atlas.  Centred on the North Star, the chart identifies literally hundreds of stars and all the major constellations visible from Boreal latitudes, labelling the major celestial bodies with their full names in Russian Cyrillic.  Impressively employing various symbols, the chart also gives an idea as to the magnitude of each of the stars.

Kornelius Khristianovich Reissig (1781 – 1860) was a polymath Russian scientist and educator of Baltic German decent.  A member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a university professor, he published widely on a variety of topics ranging from physics, barometries, statics, and even a treatise on painting. 

The Созвѣздія представленныя на XXX таблицахъ… [Presentation of Constellations in 30 Tables…] was Reissig’s most impressive work, being the first Russian celestial atlas, consisting of 30 star charts (of which the present chart was the final chart, Тав. XXX).  While Reissig based his charts on those within the 1806 edition of Johann Bode’s atlas, the engraving and presentation of Reissig’s work is far superior.  While the present chart was simply printed in black on normal white paper, certain deluxe editions of the atlas featured 29 of the 30 charts printed in gold on black, with punched holes representing the major stars, although Тав. XXX was only ever printed in the manner exemplified here.  Other examples of the atlas simply featured all of the charts printed in black on normal white paper. 

Please see a link to a lovely example of the complete atlas in the collections of the Library of Congress:

https://www.loc.gov/item/2012587277/

While Reissig, an educational reformer, noted that he intended that his celestial atlas wascomposed for educational institutions and amateur astronomers”, in reality both the normal and deluxe editions were extremely expensive items affordable only to the Russian nobility and the highest echelons of the merchant class.  As such, only very few examples were ever printed.  Only a couple of examples of the complete atlas have appeared on the market during the last generation, and we cannot trace and instances of any of the individual charts being offered by dealers or at auction over the same period.  Thus Reissig’s charts are amongst the rarest of all the important printed star charts.

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