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Triangulation Instrument
Signed by Paolo Massucci
Dated 1604; Lucca
Brass; 400 mm in length

Two long arms with shaped steel points pivot of a flat 3-leaf decorated hinge. On one side each arm has a scale 0 to 360, divided to 10, subdivided to 5, numbered by 1. One point sight survives and is mounted at the corner of a short sleeve embracing either arm and clamped by a wing-headed screw. A semicircular arc is attached to one arm and has a degree scale 0 to 180, divided to 10, subdivided to 5, to 1 and to 1/2, numbered by 10. The first quadrant of the arc also has a scale 0 to 6 to 0, divided to 1, subdivided to 1/6 and to 1/12, but the divisions are equal, so this is not equivalent to a geometrical quadrant. The signature on the verso is 'Paulus Massucbius ? F ? Luc? ?'.

The accessories include a magnetic compass, with a hemispherical bowl in a gimbal mount held by a fork attached to decorated upright support, a clinometer with two arcs, and a quadrant clinometer. There is a shaped and fitted box, the outside bound with brown leather, the inside lined with red fabric.

Jim Bennett

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 668

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