Michiel Coignet
Michiel Coignet (also spelt Quignet or Quinniet) was born in 1549, probably in Antwerp as the son of the goldsmith and instrument maker Gillis Coignet. He started his career in 1568 as a schoolmaster and in 1572/73 he was appointed as the city's wine gauger, an office he gave up in 1596 when he entered the service of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella of Austria as a mathematician and siege engineer. In this capacity he took part in the sieges of Hulst (1598) and Ostend (1602-04), and he supervised the building and the maintenance of forts along the river Scheldt. He also published books on arithmetic, cartography, gauging and on navigation, and devised, independently of Galileo Galilei and Thomas Hood, an early version of the sector.

In about 1584 he set up a workshop producing scientific instruments such as astrolabes, sundials, armillary spheres and surveying instruments. Surviving instruments by him range from 1572 to 1618. He is known to have collaborated with other Antwerp instrument makers such as Ferdinand Arsenius and Jacobus de Coster. Michel Coignet died in Antwerp on 24 December 1623.

For instruments by Michiel Coignet, see:
   Astrolabe, Signed by Michiel Coignet, Antwerp, Dated 1601 (Leiden, Boerhaave)
   Nocturnal And Sundial, Signed by Michiel Coignet, Antwerp, Dated 1598 (Oxford, MHS)


E. Zinner, Deutsche und Niederl?ndische astronomische Instrumente des 11. bis 18. Jahrhunderts (2nd ed., Munich, 1967), pp. 281-2 and p. 679; V. A. Rasquin, Dictionnaire des Constructeurs Belges d'Instruments Scientifiques (les origines ? 1914) (Brussels, 1996), pp. 36-8; A. Meskens, "Michiel Coignet"s Contribution to the Development of the Sector", Annals of Science 54 (1997), pp. 143-60; K. van Cleempoel and A. Meskens, in K. van Cleempoel et al, Instrumentos Cientificos del Siglo XVI: la Corte Espa?ola y la Escuela de Lovaina (Madrid, 1997), p. 188 [pp. 118-9 in the English summary].

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