Orrery with original winding handle made by Thomas Wright, Fleet Street, London, 1735-1740. Once belonged to Stephen Demainbray.
In Thomas Wright's 'A Description of an Astronomical Instrument being the Orrery Reduced' , he described his small orreries such as this as having been made for 'Ladies and Gentlemen rather than noblemen or Princes'. Wright (active 1718-1747) was a mathematical instrument maker whose workshop was called the 'Orrery and Globe' on Fleet Street. This orrery once belonged to Stephen Demainbray (1710-1782) and was used by him in his lectures on natural philosophy. It shows the Sun, Earth, Moon, Mercury and Venus. The Earth can be turned on its axis directly, while the handle is used for showing annual rotation. The outer ring shows both the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the signs of the zodiac, and the points of the compass. The orrery could be used to find the time of the Sun's rising and setting at various points on Earth and at different times of the year and also the date and time of solar and lunar eclipses. Demainbray worked as superintendent at the King's observatory at Kew from 1768 and his collection of instruments and apparatus was absorbed into the King's own collection.
- King George III
- Object Number:
- visual and verbal communication
- model - representation
- King's College, London
- Unlinked Name
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