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Polyhedral Dial
Signed by Girolamo della Volpaia
Dated 1590; Florence
Wood; 110 mm in height

A cube symmetrically cut to give six dial surfaces has on the top an horizontal dial for Italian hours XI to XXII and on the north face an undivided non-linear scale running from 5 to 70 by intervals of five marked down a vertical line which continues the XIX hours line of the horizontal dial. To the east and west, dials declining in those directions are drawn for IX to XIIII and XIX to XXIII hours, being marked respectively 'HORARIVM VERTICALE DECLINANTE DA SETENTRIONE A LEVANTE GRADI XLV POLVS GRADI XLIII M. XXX' and 'HORARIVM VERTICALE DECLINANTE DA SETTENTRINE VERSVS OCCIDENTE GRAD XLV FVGIT INRAPARABILI TEMPVS'. The front two faces of the instrument marked 'OCCASV SOLI' and 'ORTVM SOLI' carry declining dials for 45? IX to XIX and XIX to XXIII. Below the surface of these two dials the cube is undercut in conical form to carry the inscription 'AB ORTV AD OCCASVM SOLIS AD LATITVDINEM GRADVM XLIII ET MINVTII XXX' followed by the signature. All the dials on the instrument are thus for 43? 30' (Florence) and are alternately filled with red or black colouring. Below the inscription a small compass is set into the horizontal base, eight directions being indicated by abbreviations.

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2460

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