Asa Smith. “Signs of the Zodiac.” From Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy, Designed for the Use of the Public or Common Schools in the United States. New York: Burgess & Co, 1850. 9 7/8 x 8 1/4. Wood engraving. Very good condition.
An original antique celestial map from Asa Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy. Written by the principal of Public School No. 12 in New York City, this work was aimed at school students. Smith stated is goal as “to present all the distinguishing principles in physical Astronomy with as few words as possible,” and his text was presented in fifty separate lessons with a series of questions and answers. The handsome charts of the planets and stars are printed predominantly in black, which makes the images as similar as possible to what one would actually see in the night skies. A striking series of instructive astronomical illustrations from the mid nineteenth century.