By: R. Phillips & Co.
Date: 1821 (circa)
Dimensions: 6.5 x 10.5 inches (16.51 cm x 26.7 cm)
This authentic antique engraving is from a group depicting constellations. In this lovely hand-colored print from the early nineteenth century we find depicted the two fish (fleshed out) which constitute the constellation Pisces.
The constellation is superimposed over a detailed rendering of their location as charted by the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. Pisces is named for the Latin plural of fish. It occupies 889 square degrees, the fourteenth largest constellation in the heavens. Despite its relatively large size, its stars are faint, with none brighter than the fourth magnitude, making it challenging to find without a telescope. Located in the first quadrant of the Northern Hemisphere, Pisces covers a large V-shaped area. The constellation is more easily observable in the Northern Hemisphere in early autumn.
Pisces mythology originates in Syria as Atagartis, the Syrian goddess of love and fertility. Half-woman, half-fish the figure is thought to have engendered both Aphrodite and Venus. An ancient legend describes how Aphrodite and her son Eros turned themselves into fishes, tied themselves to each other to avoid being separated by the turbulent water of the Euphrates, into which they had jumped together in order to escape the fiery breath of the monster Typhon.
Condition: This hand colored engraving is in A condition. Published folded. A small separation in the upper right quadrant has been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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