The Measurers:
a Flemish Image of Mathematics in the Sixteenth Century


The Mathematicians: catalogue nos 1 to 12
The Measurers: catalogue nos 13 to 39
The Collectors: catalogue nos 40 to 47

The Mathematicians

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1. The Measurers
Second half of the sixteenth century
Oil on panel
Dimensions: 525 x 293 mm
Accession no. 33-73

2. Cosmographia, sive descriptio universi orbis
Authors: Peter Apian and Gemma Frisius
Printed at Antwerp, in 1584

3. De astrolabo catholico
Author: Gemma Frisius
Printed at Antwerp, in 1556
Gemma is described on the title-page as 'Medici ac Mathematici'. The dedication to Charles V is dated at Louvain, October 1555.

4. Gerardus Mercator and Iudocus Hondius
An engraved plate from a Hondius edition of Mercator's Atlas, representing the 'partnership' between the two great cartographers. As the plate records, both were dead by the time of this edition.
Dimensions: 447 x 386 mm (plate impression)

5. Mercator & Hondius edition of Ptolemy's Geographia
Printed at Amsterdam, in 1605
An historical atlas edited by Mercator and published by Hondius, being an edition of Claudius Ptolemy's Geographia dealing with the Gręco-Roman world. The title reads Geographiae libri octo Gręco-Latini. Latinč primłm recogniti & emendati, cum tabulis geographicis ad mentem auctoris restitutis per Gerardum Mercatorem, and the imprint Sumptibus Cornelij Nicolai & Iudoci Hondij.
After the map of the world known to Ptolemy, the first regional map is of 'Hibernia' and 'Albion Britanni'. Opened at the map of 'Sardinia' and 'Sicilia', a finely engraved plate with ships and sea-monsters and an elaborate cartouche incorporating an armillary sphere and a globe or planisphere.

6. Annuli astronomici
Author: Pierre Beausard
Printed at Antwerp, in 1553
Beausard's account of the astronomical rings, on which Gemma had published a tract in editions of the Cosmographia from 1539 and elsewhere. Beausard was born at Louvain, where he signs the dedication to this book, and became Professor of Mathematics in Antwerp. He acknowledges his local precursor as 'noster candissimus Gemma'.

7. De annuli sphęrici fabrica et usu
Author: Jean Taisnier
Printed at Antwerp, in 1560
Another Antwerp edition of a practical account of the astronomical rings.

8. De genuino usu utriusque globi tractatus
Author: Adriaan Metius
Printed at Franecker, in1624
An account of the celestial globe and the construction of sundials, and (with separate pagination) of the terrestrial globe and the art of navigation.

9. Fundamentale onderwysinghe
Author: Adriaan Metius
Printed at Amsterdam, in 1627

10. Primum mobile, astronomice, sciographice, geometrice, et hydrographice ... Editio nove, ab innumeris mendis vendicata, et instrumentis mathematicis aucta ą Guilielmo Blaeu
Author: Adriaan Metius
Printed at Amsterdam, in 1633
A book in Dutch on the celestial globe, the astrolabe, the solution of spherical triangles and dialling.

11. Cruciform sundial
Signed: A. Zeelsti[us] faciebat Louanij
Dated: 1588
The cruciform dial is a special case of the polyhedral dial with, of course, devotional significance; as is usual, this instrument depicts the Crucifixion on the front. The brass body of the cross is propped at an angle set by a latitude scale - 'Gradus latitudinis loci' - on the base, so as to act as a polar dial, with hour lines engraved on different faces of the cross. Latitudes of 12 places are recorded on the instrument. In addition to several instruments elsewhere, Adriaan Zeelst is also known for a book on the astrolabe written with Gerard Stempel of Gouda (see catalogue no. 12).
Length: 55 mm
Lewis Evans Collection G. 495

The Measurers: catalogue nos 13 to 39
The Collectors: catalogue nos 40 to 47
(c) Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, Oxford, England.