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Inventory no. 41963 - Former Display Label

Spanish UNIVERSAL EQUINOCTIAL DIAL
1621

Gilt brass and silver. Signed, 'Juan Bapta. Morales:Fe'; dated '.ANO.1621.'.

The case has a hinged cover and a suspension ring. By means of a notched latitude scale at the side of the compass, the equinoctial plate (hinged on the opposite side to the cover) may be set for any latitude from 10° to 70°. Around the compass-rose are engraved a scale of degrees, in four quadrants of 90°, and the Latin names of the four cardinal points. On the plate surrounding the compass-box are engraved the Spanish names of the points of the compass associated with the eight classical winds. The latitudes of seventy-five towns, arranged in alphabetical order, are engraved on top of the cover and underneath the case. The equinoctial plate is inscribed, 'Vt Hora Sic Vita Fugit'. Inside the cover is engraved a picture of the Fall of Icarus,
'Ad patrias fines dum sumptis Icarus alis Aërias carpit cum genitore Vias Subuolat ad Solem propius mox cera liquescit In{q acute}ue necativas præcipitatur aquas'
Two other instruments by the maker of this sundial have been recorded: one, in the collection of the Marqués de Santo Domingo is signed as being made in Madrid; the other in the Museo de Pontevedra, Spain, is dated 1605. The maker is probably to be identified with the Flemish engraver, Juan Bautista de Morales, who worked in Spain. Morales was, it seems, primarily an engraver of copper-plates for printing illustrations in books. Little is known of his life. Illustrations from plates engraved by him are found in books published at Madrid in 1601 (completed in 1615), 1609 and 1612, and at Medina del Campo in 1605. The first mentioned is Antonio de Herrera's Historia general de los hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas i Tierra firme del Mar Oceano, Madrid, 1601 and 1615. In the contract between Herrera and Morales, dated at Madrid, 18 November 1600, Morales, 'maestro tallador de estampas residente en esta corte ...', agreed to engrave five frontispieces, at fifteen ducats each, for the book by Herrera, 'coronista mayor de las Indias', which the King and members of the Consejo Real de las Indias had ordered to be printed. In the death certificate, 4 July 1615, of Morales' mother, Casilda de Angulo, Morales is described as 'flamenco [Flemish], grabador'.

Formerly in the Chadenat Collection

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Billmeir Collection

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