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Narratives

French compendia, quadrants and nocturnals

A collection of French instruments from the 16th and 17th centuries, some with unusual features.

The back of [3], presumably made or commisioned as a gift, is shown for its affirmation of love. There is a quadrant on the front.

Although [6] is small, it has a number of functions: a nocturnal for telling the time at night from the position of the stars, a volvelle for predicting the age or phase of the moon, and on the side shown two types of horary quadrant, a shadow square and a degree quadrant, all squeezed onto a small disc with their lines overlapping.

The dial and nocturnal [8] has also a volvelle which advises the owner which days in the year are favourable ('les jours hereux') and which unfavourable ('les jours perileux').

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