Logo of Basel Historical Museum
Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Clocks and Scientific Instruments

Double quadrant

Key data

Unsigned, 1552

Silver, parcel gilt, engraved with inscriptions, numbers and lines

height 4.6 cm, diameter 6.1 cm

Inv. 1905.367.


Within the quadrant, with a gilded scale of twice 90°, is a shadow square, also gilt. The tips of the two rules, gilt side to the front, silver on the back, which are mounted at the center of the diameter, terminate flush with the edge of the quadrant. Shadow squares were originally a feature of the back of astrolabes, but since the Middle Ages had been used independently, and as such were very common in the C16. They were used for measuring angles and distances, or for telling the time. However, on this instrument the lines necessary for the former are lacking; its small size and precious material indicate rather that it was used simply for telling the hours of the day.

Selection of similar objects


Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

Sign up for our newsletter
Logo: FacebookLogo: InstagramLogo: TwitterLogo: YouTube
Logo: Culture inclusive
Open today from 10 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Open today from 11 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday to Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM