Illustrated astronomy manuscript. ASTRONOMY, Henry Ferdinand PELERIN, c.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.
Illustrated astronomy manuscript.

Illustrated astronomy manuscript.

London: 1811.

Octavo, 440 numbered pages including some blank sheets, with 4 mounted portraits en grisaille of Flamsteed, Roger Long, Laplace and Lalande, plus a mounted stipple-engraved portrait of Nevil Maskelyne, plus a total of 45 further full-page pen & ink illustrations, mostly with blue or sepia wash, illustrating the moon, star system, etc., the neatly-written text including table and calculations, plus a section entitled 'To Bring a Transit Instrument into the Meridian by Gavin Lowe of Islington', signed and dated by the author; with contemporary bone set square by W. & S. Jones, 30 Holborn, London, in pocket to front pastedown, contemporary diced calf with gilt silver clasps, gilt-titled 'Stellae' to spine,

A beautifully written and carefully illustrated astronomy manuscript

This charming astronomical manuscript epitomises the strong intellectual interest in natural sciences in the later Enlightenment. The intricate presentation of manuscript data, the expertise in illustration, and the intellectual rigour shown in the composition of this Album, display Pelerin's advanced understanding of astronomy.

This charming astronomical manuscript epitomises the strong intellectual interest in natural sciences in the later Enlightenment. The intricate presentation of manuscript data, the expertise in illustration, and the intellectual rigour shown in the composition of this Album, display Pelerin's advanced understanding of astronomy.

Clearly a member of London's intellectual movement of the later Enlightenment, Henry Ferdinand Pelerin was a London merchant of Huguenot background who married Sarah Ann Dawes in London in 1798 and was naturalised by private statute in the same year: "Henry Ferdinand Pelerin, of the Parish of Saint James, Westminster, in the County of Middlesex, merchant, son of Henry Pelerin, by Anne Elizabeth his wife, born at Hodimont in the Parish of Vender, in the Province of Limbourg in the Austrian Netherlands". He became a member of the RSA, the Royal Society of Arts, then fully titled the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, whose aim was "to embolden enterprise, enlarge science, refine art, improve our manufacturers and extend our commerce". He appears in their lists of members with various addresses (in 1799 he was at 7 Lower James Street, Golden Square; in 1800 at 12 New North Street, Red Lion Square; and from 1803 to at least 1808 at 32 Essex Street, Strand).

He was at some time based at Lloyd's coffee house, the well-attended venue where men would meet for conversation and commerce which ultimately became the massive insurance market. We know that he was there as, sadly, the notice of his bankruptcy in June 1822 described him as an insurance broker of "Lloyd's Coffee House, in the City of London". The coffee house aspect of Lloyd's would suit what we can deduce from his manuscript – that he was an intelligent man with an enquiring mind and a scientific brain – since traditionally the coffee houses offered a venue where men met to discuss politics, fashion, current events, and to debate philosophy and the natural sciences. Historians often associate English coffee houses, during the 17th and 18th centuries, with the intellectual and cultural history of the Enlightenment.

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A substantial section in Pelerin's manuscript is titled "To Bring a Transit Instrument into the Meridian by Gavin Lowe of Islington"; a contemporary and fellow of the RSA, James Andrew, credits his uncle, the same Gavin Lowe, "to whom I am indebted for a complete Table of Formulæ for reducing Time out of one denomination to another…" (Astronomical and Nautical Tables 1805, preface, p.viii). This suggests a possible connection between three English astronomers of the period.

Condition Report: In original good condition including working silver clasps to the binding, joints expertly repaired; closely trimmed at margins touching a few letters.

Price (AUD): $22,500.00

US$16,451.49   Other currencies

Ref: #5000255

Condition Report