A very rare French astrolabe
Schätzpreis: 12.000 £ - 18.000 £
ca. 20.044 $ - 30.066 $
Zuschlagspreis: 20.700 £
ca. 34.575 $
A very rare French astrolabe, signed PHILIPVS Danfrieus , and dated 1584 , made of walnut, pasteboard and iron, with back, rete, and plates of paper printed from engraved copperplates, 86in. (21.4cm.) diameter, .11/16in. (1.8cm.) thick . The instrument is made from a walnut board with the mater turned from the solid and with the throne integral. The mater is left as plain wood. The limb is printed from an engraved copperplate and is divided in single degrees alternately shaded, numbered by fives 0° to 90° in four quadrants. There is also an hour scale, twice XII hours. Part of this paper scale has been lost. The front and back of the throne have different Renaissance patterns in strapwork, and grotesque faces. The suspension is by shackle, swivel, and ring, swivel, all brass. The rete is cut from pasteboard, with a strapwork pattern ( part missing ) carrying the flame pointers. The face has the remains of the engraved paper, and only nineteen star names can be distinguished out of the usual twenty-eight on Danfrie astrolabes. Star List NB: The missing star names are indicated by an asterisk (*); numerals are stellar magnitudes. *CAVDA CETI 3 ANDROMEDA 3 VENTER CETI 3 CAP MED 3 DEX LAT PER - OCVLVS TAURI 1 HIRCVS 1 SINISTER PES ORIO 1 DEX HVMERIS ORIONIS 1 CANIS MAIOR 1 CANIS MINOR 1 *LVCIDA HIDÆ 2 COR LEONIS 1 *ROSTRVM CORVI 3 CAVDA / - PRIMA CAVDA VRSA MA 2 *SPICA VIRGINI 1 EXTRE CAV VR MA 2 ARCTVRVS 1 *PALMA OPHIVCHI 3 *COR SCORPII 2 *CAPVT OPHIVCHI 3 LIRA 1 *AQVILA - CAVDA DELPHIN 3 CAVDA SIGNI 1 *CAVDA CAPRICOR 3 CRVS PEGASI 2 There are fives plates made of card with the projection on one side only, .11/16in. (1.8cm.) diameter . I 42° II 45° III 48° IV 51° V 54° The stereographic projection has azimuth at 5° intervals, and almucantars at 2° intervals. The tropics, equator, and crepuscular lines are engraved, as well as lines of unequal hours and the Houses of Heaven. Both the alidade and the rule are made from cast iron. The arms are counterchanged, there is modest decoration at the centre, but there are no scales. The pin is a modern screw with a round head. The vanes on the alidade have broken off. The back of the astrolabe has on the throne a grotesque face surrounded by scrolls. The circular scales, beginning from the outside, are: (1) 360° divided in four quadrants as on the front; (2) the degrees of each sign of the Zodiac followed by the pictorial representation, symbol, and name of each sign; (3) the days in each month; (4) the names of the months with vignettes, for example snow (December), tree pruning (March), flowers (May), cutting wheat (August). The calendar circle is eccentric with respect to the zodiac circle. The lower half of the central portion contains a shadow square with the edges graduated into twelve, with additional graduations to sixty labelled in fives. Underneath the square is the signature PHILIPVS Danfrieus, Siderographus Regius Generalis Lutetiæ exarabat, Anno Salutis 1584 * . The upper portion contains two circles for calendars. The group is named Hoc Dorsum Kaldario reformato precise acmodatum est . The left-hand circle connects the Solar Cycle with the Dominical Letter, and the user is encouraged to use the reformed calendar by showing the position in the cycle of the years 1583, 1584, 1585, 1586. At the centre of the circle are the instructions Vsus haru duarõ Rotularum ab anno 1582 Vsque in ultimum diem futuri proxime Seculi duraturus est . The right-hand circle contains a table to find the date of Easter, connecting the Golden Number, Epact, and Easter date. The use is explained Die dominica p [ro] xime Sequenti Pascatis [sic] In dicem, qui est Luna decima quarta Primi mensis, sacrõ Pascha celebrat r .
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