01-23-2020 01-23-2020
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
3338B Boston
January 23, 2020 06:00 PMCalender

Maurice Loewy (French, 1833-1907), Pierre-Henri Puiseux (French, 1855-1928) Fourteen Plates from Atlas Photographique de la Lune

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 3338B Location: Boston Date / Time: January 23, 2020 6:00PM


Maurice Loewy (French, 1833-1907), Pierre-Henri Puiseux (French, 1855-1928)

Fourteen Plates from Atlas Photographique de la Lune, 1896-1910, printed 1898, printed by Fillon & Heuse, Paris, published by Imprimerie nationale, Paris. Identified on pre-printed mounts, U.S. Naval Observatory Library, Washington, handstamp on the verso of plate 8. Heliogravures, image sizes 22 1/2 x 18 3/4 in. (57.2 x 47.6 cm), unmatted, unframed.
Condition: Uneven toning, scattered foxing, significant wear to edges (not affecting images), some with tears, losses, and/or water damage to the edges, some with repair patches on the verso, plate 8 with repair to tear horizontally bisecting the center.

N.B. The Atlas was an incredible 15-year project between astronomers Maurice Loewy, Director of the Paris Observatory, Pierre-Henri Puiseux, President of the Société Astronomique de France, and Charles Le Morvan, who assisted Loewy after Puiseux's death three years before the project's completion. Of the 365 nights, only fifty to sixty nights per year exhibited the ideal weather conditions required to photograph the moon successfully, with only four or five suitable negatives being produced each night. The astronomers documented the surface of the moon through approximately 10,000 photographs, with the full Atlas containing just over eighty heliogravures.

With the earth and moon's constant movement and the long exposure time necessary for night photography, a sophisticated preset clock system was employed to move the telescope and camera in conjunction with the moon's path. Each heliographic print includes the specific day and hour the image was captured, along with the corresponding diameter of the moon and the degree of enlargement from the negative. Plates 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, and 20, as well as the colophon page, are included in the lot.
Estimate $2,000-3,000

The images included in the lot were taken between 1894-1897.

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Charles Le Morvan, Fillon & Heuse, Pierre-Henri Puiseux, Paris