Machinae coelestis

Machinae coelestis
by Johannes Hevelius
Adopted for Conservation by
Anthony and Jacqueline Dobranski
on March 6, 2018
Machinae coelestis

Machinae coelestis pars prior[-posterior], v.2

By Johannes Hevelius. Gedani, Auctoris typis & sumptibus imprimebat S. Reiniger, 1673-1679.

Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687) is justly famous as an astronomer, but his livelihood came from the family’s brewing business, and Johannes himself was admitted to the Brewer’s Guild in 1636. His interests lay elsewhere, however. Devoting himself to constructing astronomical instruments and, most importantly, to carefully and precisely grinding lenses for telescopes, he developed an extremely well-equipped 17th-century observatory in Danzig, Poland. The first volume of the Machina Coelestis, profusely illustrated with copper engravings, describes these instruments and the interior of his observatory. The second volume, which records his observations from 1630 to 1679, had just been returned to him by the printer when a fire burned down Hevelius' house, destroying his instruments, library, and almost the whole edition of this volume. Only a few copies survived, which had previously been sent to personal friends. In the last years of his life, Hevelius rebuilt his observatory and published a continuation of the second volume.         

Condition and Treatment: 

This book has a full leather panel binding in the style of the great British binder Roger Payne. The front board has detached. Many of the pages have tidelines from previous water damage. Conservators will reattach the front board by executing a leather re-back. The tidemark staining on the pages will be reduced using Gellan Gel. This innovative new conservation technology will allow the conservators to treat the tidemarks without having to dis-bind the volume.

Discover more about this book in our Catalog.

Adoption Type: Preserve for the Future