Object Name: astronomical compendium
Dimensions: Overall: 0.7 lb., 5.6 x 2.5 x 8.1 cm (0.3 kg, 2 3/16 x 1 x 3 3/16 in.)
Overall - Storage: 2.5 x 5.6 x 8.1 cm (1 x 2 3/16 x 3 3/16 in.)
Description: This oval astronomical compendium is made of gilt brass. It as five leaves held to gether with a clasp and eyelet suspension ring.
1a: de Rojas astrolabe and sundial
1b: (top) circular table with epacts, dominical letters, golden numbers, months;
(middle) pin gnomon vertical dial for temporal hours; (bottom) table of planetary hours; (around the edge) string-gnomon dial for equal hours.
2a: lunar volvelle for moon dial; equatorial dial for summer half of the year; string-gnomon dial around edge.
2b: lunar volvelle for moon dial; equatorial dial for winter half of the year.
3a: magnetic compass with 16 point wind rose within a divided circle; weather forecasts given for different wind directions; and a string-gnomon dial.
3b: maker's signature on the edge of this leaf; shield on the side along with a band with an egg-and-dot ornamenation.
4a: a removable leaf that fits into compartment on 5a. This side has a knob to lift it out. This side is engraved with a gazetteer of 14 world cities.
4b: the reverse of the removable leaf, with a gazetteer of 16 French cities.
5a: Volvelle for lunar phases, with a perpetual calendar to correlate days of the week, the zodiacal calendar, and the civil calendar.
5b: nocturnal, shadow scale, sun's declination.
All inscriptions are in French. The letter "N" is written backwards throughout.
Signed: on leaf 3b: A · LAON · PAR · ROCH · PACQVELLET · 1567 · LE · 10 · MARS · 41 · DEG QVE · LE · SOLEIL · MONTE · SVR · LEDICT · ORIZON · OV · PLAT [star]
twice on 1b: 1567
on 2b: 1567
Function: The astronomical compendiuum was the Renaissance equivalent of a Swiss Army knife or personal computing device containing many useful tools in a small package. This one has devices for finding time by sun, moon, and stars, volvelles for determining the phases of the moon, tides, and dates of Easter, a gazetteer of cities, an astrolabe, and more.
Curatorial Remarks: Finely made, but the lettering is clumsy and dyslexic-appearing in places.
XRF analysis of the metals was done by Katherine Eremin and Sara Schechner in August 2007.
Provenance: David P. Wheatland, purchased in France, 1952; gift to CHSI,