Nicolaus Kratzer
Nicolaus Kratzer (1487 - c.1550) was a mathematician and instrument maker who moved from Germany to England in 1517 or 1518 and served at the court of Henry VIII. Kratzer had studied at Cologne and Wittenberg and in England became a tutor to the children of Sir Thomas More as well as teaching at Oxford, probably in 1523-4. He was court astronomer to Henry VIII from at least 1529, and collaborated with Hans Holbein in designs for court festivities and decorative artefacts. A portrait by Holbein shows Kratzer at work on the construction of a polyhedral sundial, surrounded by the tools of his trade and his own instruments. Many of these objects reappear in Holbein's double portrait of 'The Ambassadors'. As well as portable instruments, Kratzer was also responsible for monumental stone sundials.

For instruments by Nicolaus Kratzer, see:
   Polyhedral Dial, Attributed to Nicolaus Kratzer, London, circa 1525 (Oxford, MHS)


J. D. North, "Nicolaus Kratzer - the King's astronomer", in E. Hilfstein et al. (eds), Science and History: Studies in Honour of Edward Rosen (1978), pp. 205-34; W. Hackmann, "Nicolaus Kratzer: the King's astronomer and Renaissance instrument-maker", in D. Starkey (ed.), Henry VIII: a European Court in England (London, 1991), pp. 70-3.

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