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Five Fifteenth-Century Sundials

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Chapter Summary

Of the naviculae currently known to survive, five are dated to the fifteenth century. The Oxford navicula is part of the Lewis Evans Collection, and preserved in the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. Similar in size to the Oxford navicula is the Greenwich navicula, preserved in the collections of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. It measures 51mm from 12 to 12 on the hourlines, and the mast measures 49mm from the pivot to the 60 degree line. The Geneva navicula, found in the Musée d’Histoire des Sciences, Geneva is significantly larger than the Greenwich instrument. The Gentleman's Magazine navicula instrument shares with the Geneva navicula the division of hours into three parts and the presence of latitude list and solar table. In the Florence navicula scales are not marked with all the numbers and letters necessary to use the instrument, although it otherwise has fine and accurate engraving.

Keywords: fifteenth-century sundials; Florence navicula; Geneva navicula; Gentleman's magazine navicula; Greenwich navicula; Oxford navicula

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