- Museum number
The LID of the BOX of this gilt brass astronomical compendium is laid out as a 'wegweiser' with the eight main directions and corresponding weather prognostications and the rising and setting of the sun indicated as 'schen - mitternacht - nort, schen kalt - nord ost, schen - auffgang - ost, halb schen - sud ost, Gewilckig - mittag - Sud, Regen - sud west, Trieb - nidergang - west, schne schaur - nort west'.
A circular aperture in the centre reveals a magnetic compass underneath. A 12-hour scale around this central hole is numbered 1 to 12 starting in the south. A thin metal bridge between 3 and 9 has a slot in the centre for a WIND VANE (partially broken). A small central arrow is turned to indicate the direction of the wind.
Opening the lid reveals in the INTERIOR of the box a universal equatorial sundial plate, numbered twice clockwise 1 to 12. The pin gnomon is missing.
Underneath this plate is a horizontal string gnomon dial with the hour lines marked 4 to 12 to 8 and a scale of latitudes (marked 'ELEVATION POLI') 0° to 60°, numbered by 10 and divided to 1 on the right hand side. The dial can be adjusted for different latitudes with the help of a supporting arm hinged to the upper plate.
The signature of the maker is given on the left hand side of the dial.
The inset magnetic compass shows a magnetic deviation of circa 10° east of north.
The bottom is inscribed with a list of 24 European places with their latitudes as follows: 'Granata 38', 'Lisibona 40', 'Nablas 41', 'Portugal 42', 'Parsalona 42', 'Venedig 45', 'Mailand 45', 'Lionn 45', 'Ofenn 47', 'Orlienz 47', 'Augspurg 48', 'Paris 48', 'Trier 48', 'Cosniecz 48', 'Salczburg 48', 'Nuernburg 49', 'Crackau 50', 'Franckfurt 50', 'Anntorf 51', 'Pressla 51', 'Cassell 52', 'Wittenburg 52', 'Danczgen 55', 'Copenhage'.
The lettering in all the inscriptions is raised.
- Production date
- 1550 (circa)
Length: 65 millimetres
Width: 60 millimetres
Depth: 12 millimetres (closed)
- Curator's comments
Unusual for a compendium by the renowned Augsburg maker Christoph Schissler, this instrument bears mainly arabesque patterns and consists only of a 'wegweiser' with a wind vane, a universal equatorial dial and a horizontal dial with an inset magnetic compass and a list of latitudes.
The compendium is undated, but the comparison with dated instruments suggests that it is one of Schissler's earliest pieces.
A very similar compendium by Schissler was sold by Christie's South Kensington in November 1997.
- Not on display
Latest: 3 (Mar 2017)
5 (Mar 2017) weeping glass
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number