450 of 520
Sorted by:
Instrument type

Signed by Camillo della Volpaia
16th century; Florence
Brass; 190 mm in radius

The limb of the instrument carries a scale of 90? numbered by groups of five in a separate scale. Above this the left and centre of the instrument is filled with the diagram for an Italian hours dial (9 to 24 without subdivisions) the morning hours being indicated by smooth lines, the afternoon hours by dotted lines. On each side of the diagram the two halves of a calendar reading to 10 days are marked, and the remaining space at the right of the instrument carries the inscription 'AD LATITVDINIEM POLI GRADVVM XXXXIII M{INUTA} XXX' ('For latitude 43? 30'') followed by an escutcheon with the Medici emblem flanked by two doves surmounting a floral frame which encloses the signature. Above the hour diagram is a circular table 'TABVULA SOLIS MOTVS' ('Table of the sun's motion').

Along the longer edge of the instrument are two scrolled sights, with double pinnules. On the back of the instrument is a shadow square of which the centre line, marked '.VM. MEDIA.' Extends for the full radius of the instrument. The two sides of the square are marked 'VM. RECTA. and 'VM. VERSA, and divided to twelve by four numbered groups of three. The whole instrument, although well stamped, is somewhat lightly engraved; the hatching for the alternate divisions of the scales in particular has a somewhat casual air perhaps the result of the shadow square having been added later to the, originally blank, back. The punches used to label the shadow square, not the same as those used on the face, have been identified by Gerard Turner as being the same as those used on some instruments signed by G. B. Giusti and would correspond with a date of c. 1570.

Provenance: Auction Semenzato 6th November 1982, lot 368.

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 3628

© Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze. All rights reserved. Information and images provided here may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the museum.

Basic URL:

|| Introduction || Essay || Museums || Bibliography || Conventions || Credits || Privacy || Help ||
|Catalogue entries |Handlist || Makers || Places || Articles || Glossary || Search || Home ||