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Crucifix Dial
Dated 1592; French
Brass; 112 x 24 x 82 mm

On one side of the cross there is foliate decoration with the inscription 'LAVREA CHRISTO' ('Christ's triumph'). On the inner side of this plate is a compass, an unequal scale of latitudes marked from [0?] to 90? by 1?, and numbered by 10?, foliate decoration on the plate and the indication of the latitude 'LAT SILVAN 49' referring to the latitude of Senlis (France).

On the arms of the cross are engraved the inscriptions 'HIC DABIT HORAM CLARVS APOLLO' ('here the bright Apollo gives the hours') and 'NVBE FVGATA SPLENDEAT AETHER' ('the clouds gone, the air shines'). The hour lines are engraved with the indications 'HOROL OCCIDENTALE', 'HOROL MERIDIANVM', 'MERIDIANVM POLARE' and 'ORIENTALE HOROL'. The cardinal points are indicated 'SEPTENTRIO', 'OCCI' (with a figure of a cock), 'MERIDIES' (with stars, moon and sun effigy), 'OR I' (with a figure of a dog). Below the indication of the north is the date '15 92'.

The other face of the cross is decorated with arabesques and has at the centre an equinoctial dial, whose gnomon is missing, and foliate decoration. On the edges of the instrument are hooks for closing the dial when not in use.

Ilaria Meliconi

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 53446

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