Celestial globe with clockwork

Gerhard Emmoser German

Not on view

This globe once rotated, charting the constellations. A unique object uniting extraordinarily complex mechanical technology with great aesthetic beauty, it belonged to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, who displayed it in his curiosity cabinet. It was valued both for its function as a scientific apparatus and for its rich, elegant casework. Pegasus bears the seemingly weightless globe on his outstretched wings. Astronomy was enabled by knowledge of arithmetic and geometry, then considered "the wings of the human mind."

Celestial globe with clockwork, Gerhard Emmoser (German, active 1556–84), Partially gilded silver, gilded brass (case); brass, steel (movement), Austrian, Vienna

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