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Signed by Erasmus Habermel
Late 16th century; German
Gilt brass and wood; 552 mm in length

The level indicator is a gilt brass v-shaped trough with target lines on the inner surfaces and screw-fitted end pieces to retain the water and accommodate the sights, which are combined pinhole and pinhole-and-circular-window sights. The inner surface of each end-piece has a short vertical scale 0 to 3, divided to 1, subdivided to 1/2 and to 1/4, numbered by 1. The outer surfaces of the trough are decorated in a manner typical of Habermel with rectanguloid shapes and stars, and one is signed: 'Fecit E:habermel.'

The trough is carried by a cradle supported above a horizontal pivot and toothed arc adjustable in inclination by an enclosed pinion moved by a brass crank with a turned wooden handle. The pivot and arc are carried by a turned cylindrical mount, which fits into a pierced and decorated cylindrical housing, supported on the hinged brass end-pieces of a hardwood tripod. The tripod stand has pointed brass feet and the legs are shaped to fold to a circular section, where they can be held by two brass rings.

Jim Bennett

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 47897

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