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This square brass compendium consists of 3 leaves. There is a brass ring on one corner for attaching the compendium to a chain. There is no obvious maker's mark. Leaf 1a contains a lunar volvelle which is labeled: "Die saetatis lunae." The volvelle is a brass disk with pointer and hole for showing phases of the moon; a sun is engraved at the center. The volvelle turns above a circle calibrated from 1 to 29 by 1 and inside a circle calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. The outermost circle is labeled with eight compass points in German and with eight weather indicators also in German: Schonkalt, Schonkalt, Schon, Haleschon, Gewilck, Regen, Trib, and Schonschaur. Hole for missing wind vame. Leaf 1b contains a nocturnal with brass pointer and metal calendar disk calibrated from 10 to 30 by 2 X 12 and labeled with zodiacal symbols. The pointer and disk are atop a circle calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 with interior arcs labeled from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 (for Italian hours?) and with the cardinal directions: Noctis, Oriens, Dies, Occidens. Four people are shown in corners. Leaf 2a is metal and contains an hour dial with string gnomon that folds up. The hour ring rotates and is calibrated on one side from I to XII by I X 2, on the other from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. Leaf 2a also contains an inset compass which is labeled with the 4 compass points in Latin and from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. The compass needle and glass are missing. There is decorative scrolling around the dial and compass. Leaf 2b contains a latitude table for forty-nine European cities. Leaf 3a is a table of planetary hours for day and for night, listing the days of the week in German and symbols for the planets. Leaf 3b contains a shadow square calibrated from 4 to 12 by 4, a calendar labeled with zodiac names (in German) and symbols, a quadrant hour arc calibrated from 1 to 8 and from 4 to 12 by 1, and a degree arc calibrated from 0 to 90 by 5.
From the Findlay Collection.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
string (gnomon material)
overall: 2 cm x 8.7 cm x 8.7 cm; 25/32 in x 3 7/16 in x 3 7/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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