Astronomical compendium

Heilbronn, (Baden-Württemberg), Germany, AD 1596

The most sophisticated compendium known to have survived

Astronomical compendia are a collection of small instruments in one box. They provided the user with a multitude of options in a handy format, but were also a very expensive item which was clearly meant to show off the owner's wealth.

This unique compendium, made by Johann Anton Linden (flourished 1585-1605), contains an extraordinary powerful set of instruments for its time. It has various gilded and silvered brass components, including numerous types of sundials and calendrical tables, both devices for telling the time. It also has compartments for keeping drawing instruments, a table of latitudes, a table for converting time in different systems of hours, a table recording the positions of the stars, as well as an astrolabe.

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More information


F.A.B. Ward, Catalogue of European scientif (London, The British Museum Press, 1981)


Length: 146.000 mm
Width: 75.000 mm
Height: 20.000 mm

Museum number

M&ME 1857,11-16.1



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