423 of 520
Sorted by:
Instrument type

Signed by Miniato Pitti
Dated 1558; Florence
Wood; 130 x 188 x 16 mm

One side is a sundial, the other an horary quadrant. Although there is an Italian tradition of making such quadrants in wood, the survival of so early an example is unusual. Both instruments find the time from the altitude of the sun, but the quadrant is designed for one latitude (43? for Florence) and tells the time in Italian hours, whereas the dial works in any latitude up to 65 degrees and tells the time in common or planetary hours.

The quadrant side is decorated, coloured and lacquered, and there is a Latin quotation from Ovid around the rim which reflects on growing old with the silently passing years: 'there is no bridle to restrain the flying days'.

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 44865

© Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. 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 ||