Principal Comets #2 Glass Tray

This companion tray to "Principal Comets #1" features five more comets, arranged in a neat quincunx. More recent than the first plate, these are dated 1807-1847, and include the famous Halley's Comet. We really love how the comets on both trays are like steaking ghosts against the sky; when viewed at a glance, they almost appear as strange, alien blueprints. 

     In the early ages, comets, appearing only at rare intervals, and being of a shape so different from the other stars,  created almost universal alarm. Their existence apart, so to speak, from the regular stars in the sidereal regions the singularity of their motions and their peculiar shape, explains this feeling of terror at a time when science had not as yet laid bare the mysteries of the firmament. They were looked upon as the presage of great calamities, and it was said that the death of Julius Caesar was announced by the comet which appeared in the year 14 B.C. From the earliest ages of astronomy down to the invention of the telescope, only the most brilliant comets could be seen, but now scarcely a year passes without one or two being observed. A certain number of these bodies escape observation when they traverse the sky at day-time, unless they should coincide with some such rare occurrence as an eclipse of the Sun. Others, again, so brilliant as to be visible at mid-day, as, for instance, the comet in the year 44 B.C., and those of 1402 and 1532. As they vary much in their distance from the Sun, comets undergo extreme alternations of heat and cold. The comet of 1680 was only 532,000 miles from the Sun, or more than 166 times nearer to it than we are, and must therefore have received 28,000 times more heat than reaches the Earth, which is equivalent to a temperature several thousand degrees above that of molten iron. The comet of 1843 passed within 33,000 miles of the Sun, and must have had a temperature nine million times greater than that of our globe.

In the potichomania process, the glass acts as both a foundation and protective finish, saving the step of varnishing. The original intent was to recreate Greek and Etruscan vases by simulating rare and expensive Sevrés porcelain.

©2018 Why Girls Go Astray. All rights reserved.

  • Details

    This tray measures approximately 5x8 inches. The relative thinness of the tray – just over 1/8” thick – belies the complexity of the potichomania process. Each of our trays is comprised of a glass tray, three layers of 28# paper, four coatings of varnish, and finished with two coats, each of paint and clear acrylic spray. We’ve added a high-quality felt pad on the bottom in order to protect your home surfaces.

    Care: Please spray with a gentle glass cleanser and wipe clean. Do not submerge in water. For decorative purposes only.

    ©Why Girls Go Astray. All rights reserved.