11. Astrolabe by Georg Hartmann (wood and paper), Nuremberg, 1542

Type: instrument
Inv. No. 49296
Source: MHS

Paper instruments, whether unmounted or pasted on to wood or card, are now very rare, because they have not survived so well as those on brass and have not been treasured and preserved. However, they were certainly much more common in the 16th century. Hartmann could engrave directly on brass, or in reverse on copper for printing instruments in numbers and distributing them relatively cheaply. Paper instruments remind us of the close links between printing and instrument-making, connected through the skills of the engraver and both prominent in the craft practice of astronomy.

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