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circa 1570; French
Brass; 232 mm in diameter

The origins of this astrolabe are unclear and the suggestion that it may be French rests on the uncertain significance of the names of the compass points unusually included on the limb. Otherwise there are obvious Flemish influences in the design of the rete and the inclusion of the universal projection promoted by Gemma Frisius, and often used in the Louvain workshop with which he was closely associated.

One curiosity, however, is that this universal projection is on one side of one of the latitude plates instead of being on the back of the astrolabe. Another is that a latitude projection is added to the inside of the mater, where a regular Flemish astrolabe might have a quadratum nauticum. In this instrument some familiar elements are being combined in an unusual configuration.

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 49726

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