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Inventory no. 45127 - Former Display Label

18 Italian ASTROLABE ?c.1450-1500

Not signed or dated. Brass. Diam.: 97 mm.

No loose plates; the single plate is engraved for latitude 33°. The design of the
rete is unusual. Within and without the ecliptic circle it consists of curved tracery
from which spring round-ended lobes marked with about 36 stars; none of the stars
is named. The back (shown above) is an astrological volvelle. The engraved fixed
scales comprise abbreviated names of the heavenly houses, a solar calendar, the
zodiac (0° Aries = c.16 March; concentric type), its decanates and their rulers,
and symbols of the elements (fire, air, water and earth) attributed to the several
signs and quarters of the zodiac. The lowest movable disc carries eight pointers
which were used to determine the principal astrological aspects. The eight upper
pointers which are attached to individual movable discs served to mark the position
of the seven planets and of the nodes (caput and cauda draconis) of the moon.

[IC 170] Lewis Evans Collection

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