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Torquetum of Dr. Franciscus de Padoanis

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Erasmus Habermel (dec. 1606)1585/90 and ca. 1603PragueH 36,7 cm; base: L 20,2 cm; W 20,2 cm

This type of turquet has been used for various angle measurements, as the tilting of its three plates – representing horizon, equator and ecliptic – is variable. It was used above all in astronomy, but also for other purposes, like for example field measurements. Erasmus Habermel’s implement masterfully combines a clear structure with perfection in craftsmanship and technical skill. Since the Renaissance scientific instruments, the so-called "scientifica", such as this work by Emperor Rudolf II’s instrument maker, were important technical tools in the flourishing natural sciences and seafaring. From the beginning collectors also considered these items for their chambers of curiosities.