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Exhibition Label: 'In Print' (11/2/2014 - 8/6/2014) - highlights of the print collection

Woodcut, John Blagrave’s Mathematical Jewel Astrolabe,
by John Blagrave, Reading, 1584, Inv. 13599

Engraving, Frontispiece to Palmer’s The Mathematical
Jewel, Portraits of John Blagrave and John Palmer, by
David Loggan, Published by Joseph Moxon, London, 1658,
Inv. 13589

This illustration is unusual in depicting the astrolabe in
use by a woman, although her identity is unknown. John
Blagrave of Reading, who is pictured on the left, applied his
knowledge of mathematics to instrument-making, landsurveying
and map-making. One of his inventions was an
astrolabe called the Mathematical Jewel. He described it in
the 1585 edition of his book: ‘The vse of which iewel, is so
aboundant and ample, that it leadeth any man practising
thereon, the direct pathway (from the first steppe to the
last) through the whole artes of astronomy, cosmography,
geography, topography, nauigation, longitudes of regions,
dyalling, sphericall triangles, setting figures, and briefely
of whatsoeuer concerneth the globe or sphere: with great
and incredible speede, plainenesse, facilitie, and pleasure…’ .
David Loggan (1634-1692) was one of the most remarkable
engravers of his era, particularly known for producing
images of Oxford and Cambridge between 1665 and 1675.

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