The publication history of this work is vague. It appears to be large plates made as an educational supplement to an Ecole Polytechnique Astronomy Course The Ecole Polytechnique was established in 1794 and was one of the most prestigious and selective schools in France and constituent member of the Polytechnic Institute of Paris. Hervé Auguste Étienne Albans Faye was a French astronomer educated at the École Polytechnique, which he left in 1834, before completing his course, to accept a position in the Paris Observatory to which he had been appointed on the recommendation of M. Arago. Faye became an instructor at the Polytechnique in 1848 and served as President of the International Geodetic Association from 1892 to 1902, the year of his death.
Berthaud’s phototypies (collotypes) are rare and represent the state of the art in Eurpoe in the 1870s.
MoMA Object number 12.2005
Hannavy John. 2008. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York NY: Routledge. p. 313