Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 32378 from Paris, 1551
thumbnail for astrolabe (front), inventory number 32378 from Paris, 1551
thumbnail for astrolabe (back), inventory number 32378 from Paris, 1551
MakerAnthoine Mestrel
Inventory no.32378
AcquisitionPresented by J. A. Billmeir in 1957

This is a universal astrolabe, that is, one that can be used in any latitude. While many universal astrolabes from the 16th century have a universal function in additional to (and separate from) the traditional projection with latitude plates, here the common projection is boldly discarded and the user offered only the universal design of the Spanish mathematician Juan de Rojas.

The instrument is very closely associated with the project of de Rojas, for it resembles in every detail the illustrations in his book on the astrolabe design, published in Paris in 1551. The instrument bears the same place and date - Paris, 1551. One possibility is that the publisher, or an enterprising bookseller, offered his customers the possibility of an astrolabe alongside the instruction book of de Rojas.

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Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the engraved type made of brass with s-shaped scroll work support(s) made of brass attached with integrated base made of brass and has a simple, round cross-section ring made of brass and disc type shackle made of brass . More information


The mater and limb are of two pieces, riveted construction. Scales on the limb: equal hours scale; degree scale. More information


The back bears a de Rojas projection. The back contains 0 scales. The universal on the back contains 1 scales. More information


There is one plate . More information

Rules & Alidades

Type Details
PointerDouble-ended, counter-changed.
RegulaDouble-ended, counter-changed. The cursor is missing.
More information


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