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Signed by Stefano Buonsignori
16th century; Florence
Lignum vitae; 145 mm in radius

The face of the quadrant is divided on the limb with a scale of 90? reading to 1? by numbered groups of ten. Above this, the left and centre of the instrument are filled with the diagram for an Italian hours dial (9 to 23 without subdivisions) for 43? 30', the morning hours being indicated by gold lines, the afternoon hours by white lines. On each side of the diagram the two halves of a zodiacal calendar are marked (with 0? Aries at10.5 March). The remaining space at the right of the instrument carries the inscription 'QVADRANS HORARIVS AD LAT{ITUDINEM} GRAD{UUM} XLIII. MIN{ITORVM} XXX' ('horary quadrant for latitude 43? 30').

Above the hour diagram is a shadow square of twelve divided to single units and numbered in four groups of three. To the left of the shadow square is the inscription 'LINEAE AUREAE ANTE MERIDIEM ALBAE VERO POST' ('gold lines morning, white truly afternoon').

The reverse of the instrument is filled by a centrally placed inset brass disc stamped with a degree scale in four quadrants (0 to 90 to 0 to 90 to 0 reading from 0? Aries). Within this is a zodiacal calendar (with 0? Aries at 12 March) divided to single degrees and days. Mounted at the centre within the calendar is a lunar volvelle showing the age of the moon, its place in the zodiac, and its phase through a circular aperture in the upper disc which is also engraved with an aspectarium. Two block sights, both with pinnules, scrolled backs and recessed gold decoration are mounted on the shorter edge of the instrument. In the corner below the calendar discs farthest from the sights is an inset compass with the cardinal points marked. The remaining spaces on this side of the quadrant are filled with symmetrically painted flowing foliate decoration.

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2499

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