Astronomically rare

[Bergk, J. A.]

Die Wunder des Himmels und das System des Weltalls, in einem faßlichen Vortrage zur Beforderung und Erleichterung der astronomischen Kenntnisse für Jedermann. Mit 12 Tafeln. Aus dem Englischen.

Published [1823]
Item ID 77303

excl. VAT

Leipzig, Industrie Comptoir, F. F. Bohn, [1823]. 8vo (20.5 x 11.9 cm). Large, folded, lithographed frontispiece (= Plate 1); title page, viii, 104 pp. [pp. 99-104 form a publisher's catalogue]; 11 plates (numbered 2-12) on ten folded sheets. Contemporary marbled boards. Spine with later paper label with gilt title. All edges red.

This rare work contains 12 fine, astronomical plates on eleven sheets, the first not numbered and acting as frontispiece. Published anonymously, it has been attributed to the German philosopher and publicist Johann Adam Bergk (1769-1834). Bergk was the author - or at least wrote the introduction - of a similarly titled work, Wunder des Mikroscops oder Darstellung der Weisheit des Schöpfers in Verhältnißmäsig Kleine Gegenständen, by the same publisher, and dated 1823. The Wunder des Himmels is not dated, but it is listed in a publisher's list in Wunder des Mikroscops. A supposed English source of this work, however, remains unknown. A similar title, The Wonders of the Heavens, Being a Popular View of Astronomy, was written by Duncan Bradford and it even includes several very similar illustrations, e.g., of William Herschel's large telescope, but it appeared in print much later, in 1837. Boards a bit worn, especially at edges, scattered, light foxing throughout; light staining to the top edge; a stamp F. Bohn (the publisher?) on the front free endpaper recto and title; otherwise very good, complete. Not in Cat. BM(NH), Houzeau & Lancaster, or any other major bibliography.

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