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 Erasmus Habermel
Erasmus Habermel may have come from Nuremberg but nothing reliable is known about the origins and training of this renowned instrument maker. From the evidence of his surviving instruments, Habermel was at work in Prague from 1585 onwards. His workshop produced a wide range of mathematical and astronomical instruments including astrolabes, armillary spheres, sundials, torqueta, quadrants, surveying and drawing instruments, gunner's instruments and astronomical and astrological compendia. Habermel made instruments for wealthy clients and in 1593 his craftsmanship received royal approval when he was appointed as instrument maker to Emperor Rudolf II in Prague.

Of his vast output of scientific instruments, nearly 150 have survived. Some twenty of these were made for the alchemist and astrologer Franciscus of Padua, one of the many physicians who treated Rudolf II for his recurrent fits of melancholy. Erasmus Habermel died on 15 November 1606.

For instruments by Erasmus Habermel, see:
   Astrolabe, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, circa 1585 (Oxford, MHS)
   Astrolabe, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, circa 1590 (Oxford, MHS)
   Astronomical Compendium, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Compass, Attributed to Erasmus Habermel, Prague, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Dialling Quadrant, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, Dated 1592 (London, BM)
   Gunnery Instrument, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Horizontal Dial, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, circa 1590 (London, BM)
   Horizontal Dial, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Level, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Plane Table Alidade, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, circa 1600 (Oxford, MHS)
   Plane Table Alidade, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, circa 1600 (London, BM)
   Protractor, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, circa 1580 (Oxford, MHS)
   Theodolite, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, circa 1600 (Oxford, MHS)
   Theodolite, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, Prague, Late 16th century (Firenze, IMSS)
   Theodolite, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, circa 1600 (Oxford, MHS)
   Triangulation Instrument, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, Late 16th century (Oxford, MHS)
   Vertical Disc Dial, Signed by Erasmus Habermel, German, Dated 1586 (Oxford, MHS)

References:

E. Zinner, Deutsche und Niederl?ndische astronomische Instrumente des 11. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (2nd ed., Munich, 1967), pp. 329-346, 681; W. Eckhardt, "Erasmus Habermel: Zur Biographie des Instrumentenmachers Kaiser Rudolfs II", Jahrbuch der Hamburger Kunstsammlungen 21 (1976), pp. 55-92; W. Eckhardt, "Erasmus and Josua Habermel: Kunstgeschichtliche Anmerkungen zu den Werken der beiden Instrumentenmacher", Jahrbuch der Hamburger Kunstsammlungen 22 (1977), pp. 13-74.

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