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Scaphe Dial
Signed by Amelli
Late 16th century; Italian
Brass; 60 x 60 x 40 mm

This scaphe dial is kept in a brass box, engraved with flowers, arabesques and fleur-de-lis. On the inner face of the box lid is a compass, with a card painted on thin pasteboard in red, blue, yellow, white and green, with 16 directions.

The actual dial, with the pin aligned with the polar axis, indicates common (from 6 to 12 to 6) and Italian hours (from 12 to 24). The pin is fixed but the grid with the hours can be adjusted for different latitudes.

The edges of the lower side of the box have engraved names of Spanish and Italian towns with their latitudes, and the signature 'In Palermo, Amelli Fecit'.

Ilaria Meliconi

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 34154

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