Attributed to Christoph Schissler
Later 16th century; German
Gilt brass; 120 mm in radius
These are two small quadrants, which are identical to each other. Each bears a finely squared face, representing the grid of sines, also known as the 'reduction quarter'. A moveable pointer is pivoted at the right angle.
This type of quadrant could be used for mathematical calculations, especially for determining the values of sines and cosines. The type of work, the accuracy of the engraving and the precision with which the lines are marked lead one to think of the German instrument makers of the Renaissance, and suggest, in particular, the hand of Christoph Schissler.
The instruments belonged to the collection brought from Germany by Prince Mattias de' Medici in 1635.
Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory nos 2529 and 2637
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