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Instrument type

Geometrical Square
16th century; Italian
Brass; 220 mm in height

This instrument is made up of a square frame bearing the scale of shadows engraved on two adjacent sides. An alidade with sights is pivoted on the corner opposite the shadow square. Inside the frame is a quadrant of a circle with a degree scale and a diagonal rod. At its centre is a compass with a magnetic needle, against a decorative background.

On the back of the square is a cylindrical leg allowing it to be supported on a wooden foot in such a way that the instrument is maintained in a horizontal position while topographical surveys are being made.

A geometrical square such as this could be used to make topographical surveys and measure heights and depths.

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 121

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