Astrolabe Catalogue

astrolabe, inventory number 46769 from Thüringen, 1490
MakerHans Bamman
Inventory no.46769
AcquisitionPresented by Lewis Evans in 1924

Only the mater survives of this instrument. The back contains not just the standard zodiac-calendar scales and a shadow square but also - less common on a 15th-century European instrument - a scale of lunar mansions.

Several astrolabes are known by Hans Bamman, a native of Schmalkalden in Germany, who was one of the earliest European instrument makers regularly to sign and date his work.

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Throne, Ring and Shackle

The throne is of the simple, engraved type made of brass attached with integrated base made of brass and has a simple, round cross-section ring made of brass and eye-bolt type shackle made of brass . More information


The mater and limb are of two pieces, soldered and riveted construction. Scales on the limb: degree scale. More information


The back contains 6 scales of the following types: Degree; Zodiacal signs; Lunar Mansions; Calendar; Unequal hours; Shadow square. The back is inscribed: with a date marked as 1490. This date is engraved in the center of the unequal-hour scale. with a maker's signature marked as h T b (Hans Bamman of Thüringen). The central T is enclosed in a triangle. Together, the three initials are typical of Hans Bamman. More information


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