- Museum number
- Object: Dr Dee's Disc
Disc; gold; engraved with diagram of Edward Kelly's vision (Cracow 1584); concentric rings divided in four main parts by equal-armed cross with battlemented towers on head of each arm and words inscribed above each tower; various signs on each arm of cross and inscriptions similar to each other in all four segments; small hole between two outer arcs; goldsmith's stamp.
- Production date
Diameter: 8.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The inscription on the gold disc has a number of different features to the one sketched by Dee in his record of the Four Castles Vision witnessed by Edward Kelly on 20 June 1584 (British Library, MS Cotton Appendix XL VI (Part I), folio 192v.). The main difference is the changed text order in the quadrants i.e. the description for 'Septentrio to Oriens' in the manuscript diagram has become the text for the 'Meridies to Occidens' quadrant on the disc. The variations in spelling and the capitalisation of certain words also suggest that the disc was more likely to have been copied from Casaubon's incorrect diagram of 1659 rather than Dee's version. See Ackermann and Devoy (2011 - forthcoming) for more details.
- On display (G1/fc20)
- Exhibition history
2016 11 Jan- 22 Jul, London, Royal College of Physicians, Scholar, courtier, magician: the lost library of John Dee.
1996 21 Jun-26 Oct, London, The Wellcome Institute, Abracadabra: The Magic of Medicine
1980 15 Mar-28 Sep, Italy, Florence, Instituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Florence and Medicean Tuscany
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Edward Kelly's Vision (Cracow 1584)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Sold at Sotheby's 4/5/1942 lot 92 (Book sale)
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number