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Inventory no. 46744 - Epact entry

Epact number: 75343

Horizontal Dial

Attributed to Carlo Plato
Dated 1588; Italian
Brass; 75 mm in diameter

Main text

The dial consists of a circular brass plate with a pivoted compass in the centre, so that it can be used with either side of the plate. On one side of the plate are the names of the winds in Latin, and on the other they are engraved in Italian.

The instrument is very similar to Epact 37081, even though this example is more detailed. Both dials have been attributed to the same maker, Carlo Plato of Rome.



Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 46,744



Detailed text

The dial consists of a circular brass plate with a pivoted compass (needle missing) in the centre. On one side of the plate are two pin gnomon dials for Italian hours numbered from 9 to 23, for the latitudes 42° and 45° indicated respectively by the inscriptions 'Polus 42 Gra duum' and 'Ad Latitudine Graduu 45'. Another inscription reads 'Roma anno 1588', and on the border of the plate are engraved the names of the winds 'Lev ate', 'Si rocco', 'Os tro', 'Gar bino', 'Pon ete', 'Mae stro', 'Tramo tana', 'Gre co'.

On the other side of the plate are four pin gnomon dials; the first one marks Italian hours from 10 to 23 for the latitude 36°, indicated by the inscription 'Latitud: 36 Gra:'. The second dial marks Italian hours (marked from 9 to 19) and common hours (marked from 6 to 12) for the latitude 48° indicated by 'Polus gra duu 48'. The third dial indicates Italian hours marked from 10 to 23 for the latitude 36° indicated by 'Latitud: 36 Gra:'. The fourth dial, opposite to the second, marks common hours from 12 to 6 and Italian hours from 20 to 23. On the border are the same names of the winds as on the other side of the plate. This dial, which is very similar to Epact 37081, has been attributed to the same maker, Carlo Plato of Rome.

Ilaria Meliconi

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