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Astronomical Compendium
16th century; Florence
Brass; 233 mm along side

This compendium has three hinged brass leaves with sundials engraved on them. On the lid of the device is the Medicean coat of arms, in relief, and a small hole in the centre which allows a ray of sunlight to pass through to the plate underneath.

Engraved on the reverse of the lid are the tables of the semi-diurnal arcs for the months of the year and the latitudes of Florence (43? 45') and Pisa (43? 28'). The central plate carries the hour disc, and the lower plate a graduated circle. The back of the plate, which has four feet placed in the corners, is also a support for a tripod.

Some of the parts of the instrument are missing. Although it is unsigned, the Medicean coat of arms and the type of pointing are reminiscent of 16th-century Florentine instrument makers.

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2497

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