Cover to 'The sun: its planets and their satellites', 1882.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Decorative cover from 'The sun: its planets and their satellites' by Edward Ledger, published in London in 1882. The development of publishers' book bindings in the late nineteenth century led to a huge increase of bright, decorative covers for popular science and technology books. Most were unsigned by artists employed by the publishers. This example in green publishers' cloth shows the sun in gold, with the comparative sizes of the then eight known planets around it. These are framed by a black-blocked border, with the planetary symbols in black.