Copernican and Ptolemaic Armillary Spheres

This engraving was probably created in France in the 18th century. The “SPHERE DE COPERNIC” on the left is a model of the solar system with the Sun in the middle and planetary orbits out to that of Saturn. Other circles represent the colures, the zodiac with the ecliptic, and the equator. The “SPHERE DE PTOLEMÉE” on the right is an armillary sphere with the Earth in the middle and bands for the several celestial circles. Both instruments have baroque stands.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 12 1/2 in x 13 1/2 in; 31.75 cm x 34.29 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Science & Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Prints from the Physical Sciences Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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