Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Box of mathematical instruments
    • Setting:
      Room II
    • Maker:
      Christoph Schissler
    • Place:
    • Date:
      late 16th cent.
    • Materials:
      instruments: gilt brass; box: black leather with gilt tooling
    • Dimensions:
      390x340 mm
    • Inventory:
      2532, 2541, 2542 (archipenzolo con busto di fanciullo), 2543, 3726
    • Box of mathematical instruments (Inv. 2532, 2541- 2543, ...)
    • Box of mathematical instruments (Inv. 2532, 2541- 2543, ...)

A typical example of a coordinated set of mathematical instruments. The box, made by Christoph Schissler, contains 25 brass parts for different uses, housed on two levels divided into compartments. Probably not all the instruments in the box today were part of the original set. On the first level there are a square, two magnetic compasses, three plumb levels, a Mordente compass (named after its inventor, Fabrizio Mordente), a graduated ruler, two smaller graduated rulers, a quadrant, a base for ellipse compasses, and several accessories. On the second level there are four graduated rulers, four magnetic compasses, two plumb levels, four small folding rods, and several accessories. A color drawing on paper shows the layout of the box. Brought to Florence from Germany by Prince Mattias de' Medici in the first half of the seventeenth century.