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Polyhedral Dial
Attributed to Stefano Buonsignori
16th century; Florence
Wood; 170 mm in height

Fourteen faced polyhedron mounted on a turned single stem baluster pillar stand and thus offering four inclining and declining dial surfaces, four reclining and declining, four vertical surfaces, and one horizontal face. The dials are drawn for Italian hours with pin gnomons for latitude 43? 30' as is stated in an inscription on the north inclining face 'Ad latitudinem Graduum Quadragintarium Minutorum Triginta'. The single horizontal face has only an inset compass. The instrument employs controlled flowing foliate decoration in gold on a red, blue or black on a white ground. All the hours are undivided although season and equator lines are frequently marked. The decoration is symmetrical around the north and south faces. Three of the four reclining dials carry a motto in an horizontal band at the top of the dial. These are, 'Sol idem semper n{o}s [?] semper currit e [illegibile]'; 'Non sic antiqs notus numc tempora monstro'; 'Surgentem ostendo solem, ostendoq cad tez.'

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2459

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