John Folwell and David Rittenhouse

There are several digitized versions of Thomas Chippendale’s Director available on the internet. I came across one I had not seen before before while doing research for the talk I gave on October 9th 2021 at the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors annual symposium.

What surprised and delighted me about the edition I found on the Smithsonian Libraries site was a lovely pencil drawing that appears in advance of the title page. It’s hard to know if it’s tipped in or bound, the color of the paper is different from the rest of the volume and it may be a loose page. It looks very much like other original drawings made by Chippendale that were later engraved for the Director, it certainly appears to have been made in the 18th century.

The drawing at the Smithsonian Libraries edition of Chippendale’s Director.

I was looking for an image of plate 63 in the 1754 edition of the Director. John Folwell used this plate as a starting point when designing the case he and Parnell Gibbs made to house Rittenhouse’s Orrery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Plate 63 in Chippendale’s Director
The David Rittenhouse Orrery with case by John Folwell and Parnell Gibbs in its current location on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Earlier posts about the Orrery can be found here and here.

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