Grand Orrery #2
Unidentified maker; design by James Ferguson
England, ca. 1780
Yew, brass, ivory, steel
This complicated piece of mechanical gearing combines planetary models with clock faces and calendars. Designed by James Ferguson, one of the first "popular science" writers, it looks from the side like a model of the inner planets, but when seen from above it looks more like a group of mechanical clocks and calendars. Grand orreries represent perhaps the high water mark of the "clockwork universe" concept, uniting time–within–nature and time–as–human–invention.