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Inventory no. 53966 - Former Display Label

39
French ASTROLABE
1600, with later additions

Signed, on the back, below the shadow-square, "Fr. Morillard Lugdunen [i.e. of Lyons] faciebat Narb. [i.e. at Narbonne] Anno M. VIc [i.e. 1600]". Gilt brass, copper, and blued steel; with red morocco case, lined with velvet, and tooled in gold (French work of the second half of the 17th century). Diam.: 156 mm.

Rete for 17 stars. 2 plates; originally, the instrument may have had three plates. One of the surviving plates is original; on one side of it is engraved a map of the Northern hemisphere and on the other side a map of the Southern hemisphere. These maps can be used for finding local time. The second plate is signed, "Pierre Seuin AParis". On one side is engraved an ordinary projection for latitude 48°52' (Paris), and on the other a universal projection of the type invented by Juan de Rojas in the 16th century. For use with this plate, Sevin also added a rule, with a sliding cursor to which is attached an articulated arm (or brachiolum); (this rule is on the back of the instrument). On the limb are the usual scales of degrees and equal hours. Around the edge are engraved in their correct relative positions, the Italian names of seven of the eight classical winds (the position of the eighth is occupied by the ornamental suspension piece, which includes the figures of two mermaids). The alidade is equipped with a pair of folding sight-vanes. On the back are engraved a scale of degrees; a zodiac/calendar scale (0° Aries = 21.5 March) of concentric type with pictorial representations of the signs; a circular scale engraved with the names of the 32 points of the compass; a shadow-square; and a table of dominical letters, the solar cycle, golden numbers and epacts for the years 1600 to 1627, together with a perpetual calendar for those years.

No other instruments by Fr. Morillard are known. Pierre Sevin (c.1665-1683) was a well-known Parisian maker of mathematical instruments of high quality.

From the Chadenat Collection, Paris.

[57-84/178]
Billmeir Collection

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