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Armillary sphere
Ref : 98843
32 000 €
Period :
18th century
Dimensions :
L. 10.24 inch X l. 10.24 inch X H. 14.96 inch
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Armillary sphere

BION, Nicolas
Paris, chez N. Bion sur le Quay de l’Orloge au quart de Cercle, c1704

Beautiful Ptolemaic armillary sphere made of wood, cardboard and paper printed and coloured at the time, signed Nicolas Bion on the meridian circle, with the Earth at the centre of the Universe and two printed cardboard circles representing the Sun and the Moon fixed on two metallic arcs which pivot around. The terrestrial globe of the armillary sphere is covered with 12 spindles and is signed in a cartouche "A Paris chez P. Charpentier".

Total diameter 26.5 cm - Height 38 cm

French engineer, manufacturer and merchant of scientific instruments on the Quai de l'Horloge in Paris, Nicolas Bion (1652-1733) obtained the title of "King's engineer for mathematical instruments". He was the author of l'Usage des globes célestes et terrestres, et des sphères... published in 1699, as well as one of the most important works on scientific instruments of the time, his Traité de la construction et principaux usages des instruments de mathématique published in Paris in 1709. Both works were reprinted and translated several times. Nicolas Bion produced terrestrial and celestial globes from 5 to 32 cm from 1700. He remains the most famous French builder of scientific instruments of the 17th century.

BION, Nicolas
Nicolas Bion (1652-1733) was a French engineer and cosmographer, builder of mathematical instruments.

Bion was always interested in the creation of instruments and their mechanisms, his creativity allowed him to become an engineer at the court of Louis XIV for mathematical instruments. His creations were accompanied by treatises explaining their functioning. Nicolas Bion had his workshop on the Quai de l'horloge (Île de la cité) where interested people could buy his instruments. He died in his workshop in 1733 and it was his son, Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Bion, who took charge of the workshop and also became the king's engineer.

His instruments are very popular in the near East thanks to the exchanges between France and the Ottoman Empire.

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