ARMILLARY SPHERES

Armillary Sphere . Mottisfont . Hampshire

KINGSTON LACEY . DORSET

Armillary Sphere . Kingston Lacey . Dorset

EQUATORIAL DIAL . SHERBORNE . DORSET

Equatorial Dial . Private Garden (mine, in fact) . Dorset

ST THOMAS à BECKET, SOUTH CADBURY, SOM.

In the Churchyard, a small armillary sphere dated 1929, on a slender column. The memorial inscription relates to Robert Read, ‘Ironmaster and Ornithologist’, with a charming and original dedication that I will post in other pages in the MOTTO page in due course

All photos: Keith Salvesen April 2021

MUSEO GALILEO . FIRENZE

SPHERE 1

Created by Antonio Santucci between 1588 and 1593

A huge and incredibly complex armillary sphere that strictly shouldn’t be included here. Standing next to it is an experience in itself. It may not be a sundial, but it deserves a place not least because the wonderful Museo Galileo has real though ornamental polyhedral sundials featured HERE

Moving out from a terrestrial globe at the centre, there are the ‘seven wanderers’ (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Then spheres of fixed stars; then the signs of the zodiac. Finally, the Primum Mobile or outer structure. Medici Coats of Arms are included, a wise precaution. The sphere took 5 years to complete.

SPHERE 2

A ‘Ptolemaic’ sphere built by Cammillo Della Volpaia in 1557

SPHERE 3

An inscribed brass sphere with a crystal ‘earth’ in the centre. Made by Girolamo della Volpaia in 1564

All photos – Keith Salvesen except sphere 3, form the catalogue (Bonelli / Settle)