Astronomical quadrant with stand, 1685-1724

Made:
1685-1724 in Paris and France
maker:
Michael Butterfield
and
Michael Butterfield
and

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Brass quadrant of 23-inch radius with diagonal scales on a wrought iron stand by Butterfield of Paris. The quadrant is fitted with a telescopic sight and an enclosed plumb bob.

This fine brass and iron quadrant was displayed at the Special Loan Collection of Scientific Apparatus exhibition held at the South Kensington Museum in 1876.

Dated to the early eighteenth century, this astronomical quadrant was made by the French instrument maker Michael Butterfield in Paris. Unlike later instruments the sighting telescope is fixed to the quadrant that pivots at the centre of its graduated radial scale that is marked in degrees. The astronomical quadrant was employed to measure the angle of a celestial object from the zenith. Operated in conjunction with a transit instrument it could be used to check the running rate of astronomical clocks known as regulators. The instrument's orientation in both the horizontal and vertical could finely adjusted using both the plumb bob and spirit level.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1876-1530
Materials:
brass, iron
type:
quadrant - optical
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
credit:
Meteorological Office

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