Early 16th century; origin unknown
Brass; 115 mm in diameter
Some unusual features of this astrolabe have led to doubts being cast on its authenticity. Some of its features seem medieval, but the engraved letters are in a later style, which itself is not standard throughout. The rete is made from a rather thick brass plate and has been incorrectly divided.
However, it can be difficult to distinguish between a fake instrument, one that is the work of a non-commercial and eccentric maker, and one that has later additions. Although puzzles remain with this instrument, it is probably not straightforwardly a counterfeit.
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 52528
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