Dated 1521 ?; German
Brass; 169 mm in diameter
This astrolabe bears the date '1521' and has a throne in the style characteristic of the celebrated German maker of the 16th century Georg Hartmann (compare with Epact 37869).
However, there are difficulties with accepting these indications at face value. The engraving style is not that of Hartmann, and there are a number of other strange features, such as the representation of the celestial spheres on the back of the astrolabe. The astrological content of the instrument is unusually pronounced: for example, the stars on the rete are marked with their astrological significance instead of with their names. The association of the astrolabe with astrology is not problematic in itself, but these features add to the unusual nature of the design.
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 47657
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