History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

French astrolabes

The earliest instrument here [1] has an elegantly designed rete (the star map on the front) lettered throughout in the Lombardic style. The central meridian bar is drawn aside into a semicircle to make way for the pointer marking the star Vega. Though in 16th-century style, [2] may well be a 19th-century fake. Although unsigned, [3] has been attributed to the well-known French maker Philippe Danfrie on stylistic grounds. The back is shown, where the zodiacal calendar has two sets of engraved representations: the constellations and, unusually, activities appropriate to each month.

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