London, South Kensington
24 September 2008
A rare early 20th century English planetarium
George Philip & Son, 1912
signed GEORGE PHILIP & SON LTD 32 FLEET ST LONDON E.C. 1912, the central tellurion with 2¾-inch sun ball, red painted ball for Mercury, yellow for Venus, the Earth on tilted axis a 1-inch globe of twelve gores, with ivory ball for Moon rotating above a disc marked with four phases and 28 subdivisions, under the tellurion the central column bears rings for the five outer planets whose brass tubes can be fastened on with a screw; Mars with two satellites, Jupiter a 1¾-inch ball (once painted blue) with eight satellites, Saturn a 1½-inch ball painted grey with two rings (inner ring divided into two discs with a groove) and ten satellites (one ivory, possibly a replacement), Uranus on repaired arm with three satellites (fourth missing; on a perpendicular arm, possibly a replacement), Neptune with one satellite (maximum diameter with planetary arms 27½ inches); on a three-legged wooden stand with (working) crank handle, the face carrying scales for degrees, compass points, Houses of the Zodiac and Calendar (some stains and cracks).
19½in. (49.5cm.) stand diameter
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Made in 1912, this planetarium predates the discovery of Pluto in 1930; but since the 2006 International Astronomical Union's redefinition of a planet, it once again represents an complete planetary model of the Solar System.
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