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Polyhedral Dial
Late 16th century; German
Gilt brass; 12 x 52 x 42 mm

The dial has the form of a seven-pointed star with a rectangular base. On one side is a compass (glass, ring and needle missing) mounted on pivots, so that it remains horizontal when the dial is in use, and is covered by a brass plate engraved with a figure of a woman. The pointers of the star are decorated with arabesques, and on their edges are the hour lines. The inner side of the thin base has three notches for adjusting the latitude to 45?, 48? and 51? as indicated by the inscription 'ELEVATIO POLI'. On the outer side of the base is the same figure of a woman and the points are decorated with arabesques. A similar star-shaped dial in the British Museum is signed 'H F' (which could stand for Hans Felt) and dated 1550.

Ilaria Meliconi

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 53305

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