1846 · London
The Newtonian System
Plate 1. A brilliant image showing the Cartesian view of the universe. On the center is our solar system surrounded by contiguous additional solar systems.
Drawn by Isaac Frost, Engraved by Clubb, London. Printed in oil by George Baxter.
The Baxter oil print shown here was made in 1846 for the private use of the Muggletonians, an English religious group that denied a sun-centered solar system. The Muggletonians derived their own view of the universe, and these plates are among the rarest of all Baxter prints, having been made for private use and never widely circulated. Part of a larger set (total eleven prints) made for Isaac Frost's Two Systems of Astronomy, this print was never bound into a book but remained as a loose printed sheet. It is surmised that the others in this series were lost in the London Blitz when the Muggletonian archives were largely destroyed. The Baxter process, a complex and costly printing process produced a spectacular image and the plates are strikingly beautiful. Each Muggletonian astronomical print measures about 7 3/4 x 10 5/8 inches with very decent margins. Condition is very good with the slightest of marginal browning not affecting image. Baxter Muggletonian prints are scarce and were unknown to C. T. Courtney Lewis in the first edition of his work on George Baxter.
The plates we have for sale were printed for a work titled, "Two Systems of Astronomy," and were most likely circulated only to members of the sect and not sold as a commercial publication due to the expensive Baxter colour process. These plates were produced to illustrate an
alternative to the Newtonian beliefs of gravity and terrestrial and celestial motion and are
important in the history of the relationship between religion and science. Our plates were never bound into a book, but were separately published as single leaves. (Inventory #: 20594)