The most up to date rendering of the Heavens at the beginning of the eighteenth century

By SENEX, John, 1721 

Stellarum Fixarum Boreale [and] Stellarum Fixarum Australe.

  • Author: SENEX, John
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: engrav’d and sold by J. Senex at the Globe over against St Dunstan’s Church Fleetstreet. Where may be had the Zodiac, containing all the Stars hitherto Observed, to which the Moon Planets can at any time apply: very useful in Astronomical Observations, particularly in finding the Longitude at Sea. Also the Solar System describing the Planets and the Comets from Sr. S. I. Wil. Whiston M.A.
  • Publication date: c1721
  • Physical description: Pair of engraved celestial charts, fine original hand colour.
  • Dimensions: (northern hemisphere) 726 by 664mm (28.5 by 26.25 inches); (southern hemisphere) 716 by 661mm (28.25 by 26 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 14513


Senex’s rare star charts in full original colour.

At the beginning of the eighteenth century there was a great demand, from scientists and navigators alike, for an extensive and reliable star catalogue and atlas. The charts of John Seller were unreliable, those of Johannes Hevelius unobtainable, and the perfectionist John Flamsteed was reluctant to issue his great celestial atlas. The demand was met by the cartographer and mapseller John Senex, who — with the considerable aid of Edmond Halley — published a chart of the solar system in 1712, a zodiac in 1718, two pairs of star charts, with (as here) and without the zodiac illustrated, of the north and southern hemispheres circa 1721, and a planisphere in 1740. The charts were, at the time of publication, the most up to date rendering of the heavens available, and proved hugely popular. Even after the posthumous publication of Halley’s Atlas Coelestis’ in 1729, the plates would continue to be issued up until the end of the eighteenth century. 

Image gallery