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Polyhedral Dial
Attributed to Stefano Buonsignori
16th century; Florence
Wood; 160 mm in height

Octahedron mounted on a turned single stem baluster pillar stand and thus offering three inclining and declining dial surfaces, three reclining and declining, 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 'Elevatio poli Boreales Graduum Quadragintatrium Minutorum XXX'. The single horizontal surface has an inset compass and an Italian hours dial IX to XXII and foliate decoration which, although typical of Buonsignori, is unusually drawn on a green ground. The instrument otherwise employs the controlled flowing foliate decoration in gold on a red, blue or black ground characteristic of Buonsignori's dials, although in this case all the dials are drawn in black on a white ground. All the hours are undivided although season and equator lines are frequently marked. The three reclining dials carry a motto in an horizontal band at the top of the dial. These are, 'Oritur sol & occidit & at locum suum / revertitur ibiq{ue} renasces girat p{er} meridien' / 'flectur ad Aq{ui}lone, & in circulos suos revertitur'.

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2455

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