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Inventory no. 50257 - Former Display Label

26 Italian ASTROLABE 1558

Signed, below the shadow-square, "Io: Dom: Feciolus Trident: [= ?Giovanni
Domenico Feciolo of Trento/Trent in the Tyrol] faciebat"; inscribed, within the
horary diagram, "[an equal-armed cross] Astrolabium hoc ex tabulis Bergen-
sibus construendum sibi curauit Julius Cæsar luchinus Bononiæ anno 1558"
[i.e. 'Giulio Cesare Luchino of Bologna supervised the construction of this
astrolabe for himself according to the Tabulæ Bergenses in the year 1558'].
The 5's of the date, with no horizontal bar at the top, in the Mercator/
Arsenius tradition, have been engraved upside down! The astronomical tables
known as the Tabulae Bergenses were compiled by Johannes Stadius and first
printed at Cologne in 1560; they were calculated for the year 1558. Brass.
Diam.: 162 mm.

Rete for 24 stars. The design of the rete is very unusual; the pattern of the
tracery resembles slightly that of astrolabes from Arsenius workshops, and,
within the ecliptic circle, includes a heart (inverted when the rete is set with
the ecliptic circle upwards). Pisces is spelt 'PISSES' on the ecliptic circle.
The star-pointers derive from the 'wavy flame' type, and resemble corkscrews.
One thick plate, engraved on one side with the usual stereographic projection
(including the twilight line, and lines representing the 12 astrological houses)
for latitude 44°30' (?for Bologna). On the other side is a mariner's square with
directions and winds named variously in Dutch, Greek, Latin and Italian, and
with heads symbolical of four of the winds. The mater, a triple laminate, is
engraved as a compass-rose with the inscriptions in Dutch. On the back are a
zodiac/calendar scale (0° Aries = 10 March; concentric type); a shadow-square;
and diagrams of unequal and equal hours. The suspension piece, which was
made separately from the mater, to which it is screwed, is decoratively
engraved. One arm of the alidade is engraved with a zodiac declination scale.
There is also a rule, engraved with a declination scale inscribed, "LATITVDO
SEPTENTRIONALIS" and "LATITVDO MERIDI:". The pin and horse have been
replaced by a nut and bolt. This instrument is not altogether convincing as a
sixteenth century product.

This astrolabe was formerly the property of the d'Hauteville family and comes
from their house at Salon (Provence), as did the equatorium shown here.

[73-11/2] Mrs. A. M. Billmeir Bequest

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