Armillary Sphere

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A classical cosmographical instrument, the armillary sphere is a physical model of the universe. The movement of the heavenly bodies is represented by interconnecting circular rings at their axis of rotation. Depending on when the model was made, the earth or the sun was symbolized by a sphere in the instrument’s centre. Often crafted from bronze, these tools were frequently illustrated in maps and atlases.

Print of broadsheet map produced by the master engraver Jodocus Hondius.