78 of 520
Sorted by:
Instrument type

Signed by Humfrey Cole
Dated 1574; London
Gilt brass; 88 mm in diameter

This astrolabe is an excellent example of the fine craftsmanship of the famous Elizabethan maker Humfrey Cole. Some of the markings show the Flemish influence on early English makers: star names are given with their magnitudes and their corresponding planetary temperaments and the plates have both the Horizon rectus and the Horizon obliquus. The mater bears the markings for a quadratum nauticum and the back shows the universal projection as described by Gemma Frisius in his treatise on the 'astrolabum catholicum'.

It is possible that the instrument once belonged to Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612) as an inscription in a later hand on the mater suggests, but the case bearing the monogram and the coat of arms of Henry is very likely to be a 19th century addition.

The rete on this astrolabe is very similar to that on Epact 94032.

British Museum, London
Registration no. MLA 1855,12-1.223

© British Museum, London. All rights reserved. Information and images provided here may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the museum.

Basic URL:

|| Introduction || Essay || Museums || Bibliography || Conventions || Credits || Privacy || Help ||
|Catalogue entries |Handlist || Makers || Places || Articles || Glossary || Search || Home ||