Armillary sphere Delamarche Paris 1800


The armillary sphere is one of the most ancient instruments to represent the universe. His
origin goes back to the antiquity. The instrument represents the Sky and the Earth, the device
Armillary sphere (Ptolemaic)
consists of rings of wood (the bracelets) that symbolize the principal terrestrial and celestial
coordinates and the orbits of the major planets. There are two types of sphere armillary, the
sphere with the Earth of Ptolemy in the center of the world, as this one, and of Copernicus’
sphere with the central Sun.
Made entirely of wood and glued paper, this armillary sphere represents the Ptolemaic system
(the earth is at the center of the rings). It was built by Charles-Francois Delamarche (1740-
1821), a Parisian geographer who produced armillary spheres, globes and planetariums.
The rings covered with engraved and varnished paper, their circumference painted in red.
Mounted on original turned single stem stand on circular base carrying horizon ring with four
supports engraved with the degrees of ascension and declination of the constellations;
horizon ring with zodiacal calendar having pictorial representations of the signs of the
zodiac. Into this slots the meridian ring, with degree scales, here without the dial at the North
Pole. Mounted within the meridian circle and free to rotate is a sphere formed of 5 armillary
rings (named for the arctic, antartic, the tropics of Cancer, Capricorn and the equator) and a
zodiac band on which the months and various signs are named in French. The solstitial and
equinoctial colures carry degree scales. On a spike in the center of the rings is a terrestrial
globe. Suspended from the ecliptic axis are brass strips carrying sun and moon discs, rotatable
in the plane of the ecliptic.

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