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Falconi  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
overall: .5 cm x 11.2 cm x 11.7 cm; 3/16 in x 4 13/32 in x 4 19/32 in
Object Name:
Place made:
Italy: Lombardy
Date made:
This brass horary quadrant contains a shadow square at the vertex, numbered from 2 to 12 by twos, and labeled: CLIMA SEXTUS. A calendar scale is adjacent to the shadow square. It is labeled in Latin by month name, from Janva to December. Below the calendar scale and maker name are engraved two sets of curves. One set is calibrated along the circumference from 16 to 24 by units and labeled: LINNEA MERIDIEI. The other set of curves is calibrated along the left side of the quadrant from 8 to 19 by units. These curves may represent Italian hours, which begin with 0 at sunset. The circumference is calibrated from 0 to 90 by units with marks every five degrees. The reverse of the quadrant contains two sights which extend from the top of the instrument, as well as a volvelle. The uppermost piece is a marker with a round hole that shows phases of the moon as it moves along a circle calibrated from 1 to 29 by units. Below this is a moveable projection of the ecliptic, also with a pointer arm, calibrated in twelve unequal sections from 0 to 30 by 1 or 5 and lettered with the zodiac signs. Below this, on the quadrant itself, is a projection of the celestial sphere. This is labeled at the center: LA 45. As this mark suggests, the instrument is for a latitude of 45 degrees. An hour circle filled with intersecting curves surrounds the center; the curves are labeled from 1 to 12. Next to the 12 o’clock points appear the phrases: DESCENDENS and ASCENDENS. There is then a second hour circle calibrated from 1 to 24 by units. Next is a calendar circle divided by day and labeled by month name from Januarius to December. Finally a calendar circle calibrated in twelve sections of thirty by day with numbers every five days. The sections are labeled by zodiac sign from Aries to Pisces.
Bedini, Silvio A., ‘Falconi, Renaissance Astrologer and Astronomical Clock and Instrument Maker’, Nuncius 2004, fasc. 1, 31-76.
Website of The British Sundial Society, Glossary: Hours (Types of), accessed 5 September 2002.
R. S. and M. K. Webster, <I>An Index of Western Scientific Instrument Makers to 1850: C-F </I>, self-published, 1971, p. 74.
Currently not on view
Mathematics  Search this
Timekeeping  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of New York University
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History