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Inventory no. 50526 - Former Display Label

ASTRONOMICAL RING from the Netherlands
1600

Gilt brass. Signed, "ALBERTO . IMPERATORIS . FILIO . IMP: FRATRI * ISABELLÆ . PHILIPPI . REGIS . FILIÆ . PHIL: REGIS . SORORI . ÆTERNVM . REGERE . IA . D . SVCCA."; dated, "1600".

The ring is adjustable for use in any latitude, by means of the suspension ring and slider, which can be attached to the ring in twelve different positions, above the latitude-scale, by a screw, and moved to the exact latitude before the screw is tightened. The inscription records that it was made for the Archduke Albert of Austria (1559-1621), son of the Emperor Maximilian II, and the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia (1566-1633), daughter of Philip II of Spain, joint Governors of the Netherlands. On the cursor of the declination-scale are engraved symbols of the sun and moon, above the motto "Simul et semper"; and a monogram, including the initials A, B, ?I, C, and E, surmounted by a coronet. The initial A, and the monogram also appear, together with a symbolical picture of two burning hearts, in the engraved Renaissance decoration with which the instrument is finely decorated.

The maker was almost certainly a relation of Antoine de Succa (d. 1620), of Antwerp, a member of a branch of a Piemontese noble family that had settled in the Netherlands, who in 1660 became a portrait-painter and genealogist to Albert and Isabella. There is a sundial inscribed, "Consecrabat IA. De Succa Ao 1601", and engraved with the arms of Albert and Isabella, in the Rubens House at Antwerp.

Formerly in the Mercator and McVitty Collections.

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Billmeir Collection

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