|Artist||Frisius, Gemma after Apianus, Petrus|
|Published||Antverpiae, ex Officina Ionnis VVithagij. Anno 1584. [Antwerp, 1584]|
|Dimensions||230 x 155 mm|
A simple volvelle utilising a printed wheel punctured at centre by a string, demonstrating the apogee and perigee of the Sun, from the 1584 Latin printing of Gemma Frisius' edition of Peter Apian's landmark Cosmographicus liber. The wheel features a pair of concentric circles dividing the year into months and zodiacal bands, while the centre features a personified illustration of Sol, the Sun, holding the orbits of the other six classical heavenly bodies, marked by their alchemical symbols. Below Sol, a pair of diagrams show arcs and umbrae. Short notes above and below the wheel explain that the Sun is at its furthest point from Earth at the onset of Cancer, and at its closest at the winter solstice in Capricorn.
Jemme Reinerszoon, known under his Latin nom de plume Gemma Frisius (1508-1555), was a Frisian cartographer, astronomer, physician, and mathematical and scientific instrument maker. Among his students were some of the most important scientific minds of the age, including Mercator, John Dee, and Vesalius.
Petrus Apianus, born Peter Bienewitz (1495-1552), was a German cartographer, astronomer, and humanist scholar, best known for his two seminal astronomical works, the influential and much reprinted Cosmographicus liber (1524) and the lavishly decorated Astronomicum Caesareum (1540). The former brought its author into the orbit of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who appointed him Court Mathematician and made him both a Free Imperial Knight and a Count Palatine.
Condition: Central string reinstated. Time toning and minor foxing to sheet, especially along edges. Minor surface creasing to sheet, most likely from original volvelle string. Minor Dampstaining and dirt marks to margins.