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Instrument type

Vertical Dial
Later 16th century; Florence
Wood; 350 mm in height

The cylinder on a double turned base has a turned removable top carrying the two cut and shaped gnomons, longer and shorter for summer and winter use, which may be folded down into the body of the instrument when not in use. Around the rim of the gilt and black painted top is the inscription 'Francisco Magno Etrurie Duci dicatum' ('Francesco named Duke of Greater Etruria') the arms of Francesco (reigned 1574-87) being painted on the body of the dial below the label for the spring and summer section of the dial. Around the top of the cylinder is a doubled month scale and at the bottom the corresponding zodiac signs. Between the two scales the curved lines for Italian hours are drawn across the cylinder, in red for the morning hours and in black for the afternoon as an inscription of the instrument explains. Below the label for the autumn and winter section of the dial is an emblem of a lioness wearing a collar and examining foliage below the legend 'Victoria amat cvram' ('victory likes to take care').

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2457

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