Hand-cranked orrery, showing movements of Mercury, Venus, and Earth around the Sun, and the Moon around the Earth
Printed, colored, and varnished dial
Brass wheels and gears, Sun and Moon, ivory planets
12.5" diameter wood platter, raised 2" on three legs
Mahogany box: 7.5" x 13.5" x 13.5"
Famed London instrument makers, William (1763-1831) and Samuel (d. 1859) Jones, worked at 135 Holborn from 1792 to
1800, and at 30 Holborn from 1800 to 1860.
The orrery demonstrates astronomical phenomena related to the diurnal rotation of the earth, the annual revolution of the earth around the sun, and monthly revolution of the moon around the earth, such as the reasons for day and night, seasons, and eclipses. The dial has calendar, zodiac names, symbols, and figures, and related calibrations in the outer concentric circles; tables of data relating to the planets (Mercury through Saturn) occupy the center area.
For detailed description and operation of the orrery, see the Princeton University Library copy of:
Jones, William. The description and use of a new portable orrery on a simple construction, representing the motions and phenomena of the planetary system, but more particularly the motions of the earth and moon round the sun ... to which is prefixed, a short account of the solar system, or the true system of the world. London, Printed for, and sold by W. and S. Jones, 1812. EX 8455.502.
One like this on eBay sold for $4000 on the 15th June 2009