German Compendium

German Compendium

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This oval brass and ivory compendium has of three leaves. Leaf 1a is brass and contains a wind rose with sixteen compass points and eight weather conditions labeled in German. There is an arrow index. A hole in the leaf reveals the compass inside. There is a hole and hook for a wind vane, the vane itself is missing. There is another hook near the hinge. Decorative clouds surround wind rose.
Leaf 1b is labeled "Tagleng" and contains a polar dial calibrated from 8 to 16 by 1 and by zodiac symbols. There are holes for placing a string gnomon (missing) at latitudes of 42, 45, 48, 51, and 54 degrees. An engraving of the sun is on the left top, of the moon on the right top, and of two men holding a globe by a handle and measuring off an arc of a globe with dividers at the bottom.
Leaf 2a is made of ivory. It has a horizontal dial calibrated in red from 4 to 12 to 8 by 1. It is labeled "Elevatio Polus" next to a hole for securing the string gnomon marked with the same latitudes as leaf 1b. The inset compass has glass and needle. It is calibrated in red from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 counterclockwise. "Oriens" and "Occidens" are marked on the edges of this leaf.
Leaf 2b contains a lunar volvelle with phase diagram and index. The volvelle is calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 counterclockwise. The leaf is calibrated in red from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 counterclockwise and in black from 1 to 29 by 1. The outermost circle is labeled: Der Vol Mon (full moon), Das Erst Viertel (first quarter), Der Ney Mon (new moon), and Das Leczt Viertel (last quarter).
Leaf 3a is brass and is engraved with a woman holding what might be a giant flaming apple. She is surrounded by the sun, clouds, and moon. Leaf 3b has four brass feet. There is a hole and hook for closing the compendium. The nocturnal volvelle with index is labeled "Verkleichung" and calibrated from 8 to 24 by 1. The outer circle is calibrated from 4 to 12 to 8 by 1 and from 8 to 16 by 1 with three zodiac symbols. A second scale shows lengths of day.
Maker unertain.
Currently not on view
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overall: 1.5 cm x 6.5 cm x 8.2 cm; 19/32 in x 2 9/16 in x 3 7/32 in
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
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National Museum of American History
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