Museo Galileo
Virtual Museum
Large armed lodestone
    • Setting:
      Room VII
    • Maker:
    • Date:
      first decade 17th cent.
    • Materials:
      lodestone, brass, iron, wood
    • Dimensions:
      350x150x515 mm
    • Inventory:
    • Large armed lodestone (Inv. 542)
    • Large armed lodestone (Inv. 542)

Long kept in the Uffizi Gallery, where it was observed and described by Cornelis Mejjer, this lodestone was re-armed by Mejjer to restore its original power. Mejjer also recalled that exceptional magnets such as this fetched exorbitant prices. Indeed, in 1609, Cosimo II had paid 100 doppie (i.e., 200 gold scudi) to buy—on Galileo's advice—an extremely powerful lodestone owned by Giovanfrancesco Sagredo in Venice. That magnet has been lost.