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Astronomical Compendium
Signed by Christoph Schissler
Dated 1566; Augsburg
Gilt brass; 73 x 63 x 11 mm closed

Christoph Schissler made compendia in many different formats; this rectangular version is one of the more sober styles.

It carries two horizontal sundials, one with a string gnomon and the other with a pin. As on other string gnomon dials by Schissler (Epact 57238), the material actually used to cast the shadow was catgut. Wound round a spring barrel to keep it taut, this gnomon was held above the dial plate by an ingenious folding support.

Also included are such standard elements as a compass, lunar volvelle and a wind rose. Less common is the inclusion of a table to display the directions of European cities relative to Augsburg.

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 35846

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