Illuminated Astrological Sign Symbol Painting Collection.

Rare Illuminated Astrological Sign Symbol Painting Collection; elaborately bound in full decorated calf and containing twelve original paintings

Illuminated Astrological Sign Symbol Painting Collection.


Item Number: 199552

Rare collection of illuminated paintings depicting the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Quarto, bound in full calf with gilt tooling to the spine, elaborate gilt ruling to the front and rear panels with fleuron cornerpieces surrounding a gilt-bordered morocco onlay displaying a coat of arms, patterned endpapers, twelve vellum leaves. The illuminated paintings include: the Aires the Ram, Taurus the Bull, the Gemini Twins, Cancer the Crab, Leo the Lion, the Maiden Virgo in Medieval dress, the Scales of Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius the Centaur, Capricorn the Goat, Aquarius the Water-bearer, and Fishes Pisces. Painted in a style reminiscent of Medieval illumination, likely produced in the late 18th to early 19th century. In very good condition.

The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originated in Ancient Babylon during the first half of the 1st millennium BCE Drawing on even earlier Babylonian star catalogues, some of the star signs Some constellations can be traced back even further to to Bronze Age. Around the end of the 5th century BCE, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic into 12 equal "signs", by analogy to 12 schematic months of 30 days each. Each sign contained 30° of celestial longitude, thus creating the first known celestial coordinate system. According to calculations by modern astrophysics, the zodiac was introduced between 409-398 BCE.

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