design-is-fine: Christoph Schissler, Astronomical Compendium,…


Christoph Schissler, Astronomical Compendium, 1561. Augsburg, Germany. V&A

Pocket-size compendia were produced by specialist instrument makers. This one contains the universe in a box! Provided its owner had basic understanding of math, astronomy, astrology and geography, he or she could use the dials, tables and maps to plan journeys, predict the time of sunset in many towns in Europe (useful when travelling), make astrological predictions, measure the heights of stars and configure the positioning of the stars for any time in the past or future. 

Those Instruments were also made as treasury items. By the 1560s, it was fashionable for wealthy gentlemen to have a sound understanding of all branches of learning, from arts and literature to mathematics and science. More: V&A

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