Unusual and Decorative Color Theory Sphere, circa 1900

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An unusual and decorative color wheel sphere used to teach color theory, designed and patented by Alfred Munsell, circa 1910, the spinning painted metal sphere mounted on a black painted metal stand with decayed mirrored glass round oculus.

Retains original paper patent label on base and traces of Munsell's product paper label.

Biographical Information on Albert Munsell:

Albert H. Munsell was an artist and a professor. His turn-of-the-century research on color still influences the way color is interpreted today.

Professor Albert H. Munsell brought clarity to color communication by establishing an orderly system for accurately identifying every color that exists. Munsell based his system on what he defined as “perceived equidistance,” the human visual system’s perception of color.

“As a practicing artist and teacher, Albert Munsell understood the importance of being able to communicate clearly about color. He devoted his life to studying color and developed a systematic way of ordering and describing color that has proved accurate and flexible enough to endure from 1915, when The Atlas of the Munsell Color Order System was published, until today. A color system is a collection of all possible colors arranged so the relationships among them can be recognized. There have been many of these through the years, but none have been accepted so widely or used as long as the Munsell Color System.”

Munsell’s color sphere, 1900. Later, Munsell discovered that if hue, value, and chroma were to be kept perceptually uniform, achievable surface colors could not be forced into a spherical shape.
Place of Origin
United States
Date of Manufacture
circa 1900
Early 20th Century
Materials and Techniques
Age appropriate wear to painted surface and mirrored glass disc, as seen in photograhs,.
Dealer Location
Essex, MA
Number of Items
Reference Number
Andrew Spindler Antiques
163 Main St.
Essex MA 01929
(978) 705-6848
1stdibs Dealer since 2007 Located in Essex, MA
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