Gualterus Arsenius
The most important member of the Arsenius family of instrument makers, Gualterus or Gualterius Arsenius (Gautier Arsens) originated from Clevens. He was a prolific instrument maker who worked in Louvain from the early 1550s to the late 1570s. His instruments were often signed 'Gualterus Arsenius nepos Gemmae Frisii', which suggests that his family may have been related to that of the famous Louvain instrument maker Gemma Reyneri Frisius, who took him as an apprentice in about 1546.

Gualterus Arsenius produced a wide range of astronomical instruments including astrolabes, armillary spheres, astronomical rings, cross staffs and sundials. Their design was greatly influenced by the work of Gemma Frisius and the cartographer Gerard Mercator.

Controversy still surrounds whether very similar and contemporary instruments signed 'Regnerus Arsenius nepos Gemmae Frisii' are from the hand of a brother of Gualterus, Renerus or Regnerus (Regner or Renier), also working in Louvain, or from that of Gualterus, who, as a mark of his esteem for his tutor Gemma Reyneri Frisius, could have been using the second part of Gemma Frisius' name as his own.

Gualterus Arsenius died in or shortly before 1580.

Gualterus Arsenius was probably related to two other craftsmen of the same name: Ferdinand, an instrument maker, and Ambroise, an engraver.

For instruments by Gualterus Arsenius, see:
   Astrolabe, Signed by Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, Dated 1572 (Firenze, IMSS)
   Astrolabe, Attributed to Gualterus Arsenius, Flemish, circa 1570 (Firenze, IMSS)
   Astronomical Ring Dial, Signed by Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, Dated 1567 (Oxford, MHS)
   Astronomical Ring Dial, Signed by Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, Dated 1572 (Leiden, Boerhaave)
   Cross-staff, Signed by Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, Dated 1571 (London, BM)
   Theodolite And Sundial, Attributed to Gualterus Arsenius, Louvain, circa 1570 (Oxford, MHS)


E. Zinner, Deutsche und Niederl?ndische astronomische Instrumente des 11. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (2nd ed., Munich, 1967), pp. 236-8 and p. 679; V. A. Rasquin, Dictionnaire des Constructeurs Belges d'Instruments Scientifiques (les origines ? 1914) (Brussels, 1996), pp. 2-4; K. van Cleempoel, "La Produccion de Instrumentos Cientificos en Lovaina en el Siglo XVI", in K. van Cleempoel et al, Instrumentos Cientificos del Siglo XVI: la Corte Espa?ola y la Escuela de Lovaina (Madrid, 1997), pp. 87-109 [pp. 59-74 in the English summary].

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