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Inventory no. 51773 - Epact entry

Epact number: 14859

Equinoctial Dial

Signed by Juan Cocart
Dated 1596; Spanish
Gilt brass and silver; 11 x 43 x 44 mm

Main text

On this Spanish instrument, dated 1596, a later correction for magnetic deviation has been made and recorded by a certain Ravizza in 1799.

The dial is very similar to the other surviving dials by the maker Juan Cocart. Like them it is preserved in remarkably good condition, with, it seems, its original compass glass and needle.

In its square form it is not unlike another dial by a maker who worked in Spain, Petrus ab Aggere (see Epact 59456).

Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 51,773

Detailed text

The outer part of the lid of this equinoctial dial has a table of latitudes for 16 places. The inner part is decorated with two concentric circles in the centre and Tudor roses in the spandrels. The hour circle is folding and the hours are numbered 1 to 12 twice. On the square where the hour circle is fixed there is also a brass arm used for adjusting the latitude. The box contains a compass with the indication of the cardinal points 'SE', 'OR', 'ME', 'OC' and on one side is a scale for setting the dial to the appropriate latitude, divided on the top every degree and numbered on the side of the box from 10 to 70. The bottom of the box has another table of latitudes for 16 places.

The lower edge is engraved with the inscription 'Ravizza correxit pro grad 26 m 10, 1799' and the right edge with 'Juani Cocart me fe 1596'. The former inscription refers to the correction of the compass for magnetic deviation in 1799.

Provenance: Lewis Evans Collection S. 7.

Ilaria Meliconi

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