Inventory no. 12765 - Former Display Label
Italian PTOLEMAIC ARMILLARY SPHERE
Brass and gilt brass; the sphere representing the Earth is of wood. Unsigned; undated. Height 248 mm.; diameter 166 mm.
On the base are eccentric zodiac and calendar scales; the vernal point corresponds to the 11th of March. The index arm on the base has been faintly scratched with 'Volvela Solis'. The same, apparently contemporary, hand scratched the cardinal points of the ring representing the horizon with the Italian names of the principal four winds, 'po[n]ente', 'mez[zodi]', 'leuan[te]', 'tramontane', before this ring was pierced. These scratchings may therefore be assumed to have been incised at the time the instrument was made.
The pillar supporting the sphere at the north point of the horizon is an unusual feature. A pierced projection at its upper end indicates the place of a plummet which is lost. The base contains a sunk compass.
This armillary sphere is one of the earliest extant.
- Armillary spheres
- Inventory no. 12765 - Epact entry
- Picture Caption in Francis Maddison, Medieval Scientific Instruments