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Inventory no. 45841 - Epact entry

Epact number: 62502

Celestial Globe

Signed 'HRD'
Late 16th century; German
Gilt brass; 170 mm in height

Main text

This small celestial globe is centred on the poles of the ecliptic. The constellations are named and their figures engraved, and different star symbols are used to distinguish six stellar magnitudes.

The two hemispheres of the globe can be separated and inside the northern hemisphere is a scaphe dial for common and Italian hours.

Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 45,841

Detailed text

The instrument consists of a celestial globe on a gilt stand decorated in relief. The upper hemisphere can be removed and contains a scaphe dial.

The celestial globe is 94 mm in diameter and centred on the ecliptic poles. There are engraved circles for the arctic and antarctic circles, the tropics and the colures, as well as additional great circles of celestial longitude marking the divisions of the ecliptic into the signs of the zodiac. The equator is represented by a thin band whose divisions are alternately cross-hatched; only a few graduations for right ascension are marked. The thin ecliptic band is also alternately cross-hatched.

The constellations are figured and named, and there are six star symbols to distinguish different magnitudes. A table above Gemini indicates the convention adopted for representing the six stellar magnitudes.

Below 'PISCES NOTIVS' are the initials 'HRD', possibly those of the unidentified maker.

The inside of the upper hemisphere contains a scaphe dial with lines for common hours 4 to 12 to 8, and for Italian hours 8 to 24.

Provenance: Lewis Evans Collection 2903 and G. 560.

Stephen Johnston

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