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RESERVED...Bronze Plaque Mary Somerville, Astronomy, Polymath
A nice antique bronze plaque depicting Mary Fairfax Somerville (1780-1872). Somerville was a Scottish Science Writer and Polymath and was hailed by The London Post as "The Queen of Nineteenth-Century Science". She studied mathematics and astronomy, and was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society at the same time as Caroline Herschel. She led an unconventional life in the aspect that she pursued an education in male dominated fields at a time when woman were not generally encouraged to pursue academic interests. The plaque is cast from bronze and has excellent attention to detail. It is marked with her name "MARY SOMERVILLE" and dated "ROMA MDCCCXLIV" which translates to the year 1844, and is artist signed "L. MACDONALD F" which might be Lawrence MacDonald (1799 - 1878) of the United Kingdom. The Plaque measures 8 3/4" in diameter and is 1" deep. It is in very good overall condition. The back edge is not quite but it is hard to notice from the front, there is one tiny casting imperfection on the back edge, see closeup photo. The plaque has an excellent natural patina on the bronze and traces of gilt on the laurel leaves. Mary Somerville would make a fine addition to a Historical, Science or Bronze collection.
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