27. Polyhedral dial by Nicolaus Kratzer, London, c.1525

Type: instrument
Inv. No. 54054
Source: MHS

The dial is unsigned but was made for Cardinal Wolsey (bearing his arms, the arms of York Minster and two representations of a cardinal’s hat), almost certainly by Nicholaus Kratzer. He was lecturing at Corpus Christi College, Oxford in the 1520s, under Wolsey’s patronage, on elementary astronomy, the construction of the astrolabe and Ptolemy’s geography. This was a typical conjunction of astronomical and cosmographical interests. Born in Munich and educated at the universities of Cologne and Wittenberg, Kratzer was an instrument-maker, who brought the craft practice of astronomy to England in about 1517, arriving, according to a contemporary account, bearing astrolabes and armillary spheres.

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