Signed Hanns Herghamer
Dated 1492; German
Paper and vellum; 142 mm in diameter
Paper instruments have not survived in great numbers, but this probably does not reflect their currency in the period. In this case the instrument, which is a very simple form of astrolabe, was preserved between the fly-leaf and the cover of a copy of Johannes Angelus, Astrolabium (Augsburg, 1488). The original binding survived and with it the instrument.
Its function is appropriate to the astrological content of the book. It shows the sky divided into the twelve traditional astrological houses, and relates the sun's position in the different houses to the time in equal hours.
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 91897
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