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Inventory no. 38097 - Former Display Label

38
German ASTROLABE
?c.1590

Signed, "Erasmus Habermel fe:"; not dated. Gilt copper (the gilding is modern); the original leather-covered case survives, but is not displayed. Diam.: 404 mm.

Rete for 44 stars; the pattern of the tracery of the rete is inspired by that on astrolabes from the Arsenius workshop in Louvain (cf. astrolabe no. 28). The ecliptic circle on the rete is wrongly divided (as on all known astrolabes bearing Habermel's name; cf. the other Habermel astrolabe shown here), rendering it useless. 1 plate, inscribed on one side, Pro eleuatione poli 48 qualis est Viennæ Linzæ Ratisbonæ Monachÿ, Augustæ, Vlmæ, Salisburgÿ, Argentinæ, Basileæ, Parisÿs, and on the other side, Pro eleuatione poli 50 qualis est Pragæ, Olmutÿ, Nissæ, Cracouiæ, Item 49 ut Noribergæ, Crumnouiæ, Trebonÿs, Item 51 ut Vlatislaniæ, Dresdæ, Antuerpiæ, Coloniæ; the 12 astrological houses are marked on the plates in addition to the usual almucantars, azimuths, lines of unequal hours, etc. The mater is engraved as a quadratum nauticum, with the points of the compass inscribed in Dutch and a wind-rose inscribed in Italian. On the back there are a zodiac/calendar scale (0° Aries = 201/2 March (Gregorian); concentric type), with the dates of several ecclesiastical festivals, a diagram for the conversion of equal and unequal hours, a shadow-square within which is a table showing the planets ruling each hour of the days of the week, and a scale of degrees. A compass is set in the front of the suspension piece, on the back of which is a volvelle for converting Italian and Babylonian hours to ordinary hours, or vice-versa. The alidade is equipped with a pair of folding sights and is engraved with scales of Italian and Babylonian hours. Over the rete there is a rule marked with a scale of northern and southern declinations.

This astrolabe is said to have been in the possession of the Hapsburg family, but it is not known when it was acquired by the family. Formerly in the Henri Michel Collection, Brussels.

[57-84/19]
J. A. Billmeir Collection

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