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Radio Latino
Signed by Giovanni Maria Mancini
circa 1600; Italian
Gilt brass; 460 mm in length (folded)

The handle, richly decorated with strapwork and foliage, incorporates a silvered magnetic compass, the cardinal points marked with the initials of the winds, with a glass cover (needle missing). The sides of the handle have foliate decoration in relief. The back has an engraving of Christ on the cross and the signature: 'IO ? MAR MANCiNVS ? F ?'

There is a central arm and four arms linked by pivoted joints, one of which is carried by a decorated cursor that slides along the main arm. The central arm has an unnumbered linear scale on top. The upper surfaces of the shorter pair of pivoted arms have the same scale as the upper surface of the central arm.

Underneath the central arm has a non-linear scale 5 to 90 increasing and 90 to 20 decreasing, divided to 10, subdivided to 5 and to 1, numbered by 5, indicating the angles between pivoted arms corresponding to the positions of the cursor. The underside of one of the longer pivoted arms has shadow-square scales 0 to 12 to 0, divided to 1, subdivided to 1/4, numbered by 3, marked 'VMBRA VERSA VMB MED VMBRA RECTA'. The other has a degree scale 0 to 45 to 0, divided to 10, subdivided to 5 and to 1, numbered by 5, marked 'AD SOLIS ET STELLARVM ELEVATIONES'.

One side of the central arm has a scale marked 'PALMO ROMANO', unnumbered but with the first inch subdivided. The other side has scales '{?B}occh de Pezzi', 1 to 120, and 'Mezo Piede Venetiano', unnumbered.

J. Bennett and S. Johnston, The Geometry of War 1500-1750 (Oxford, 1996)

Jim Bennett

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 37525

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