Astrolabe (Acceptable)

Astrolabe (Accepted)

An astrolabe is an astronomical instrument; it was used for surveying the positions of the stars and planets, and calculating sidereal time.  The device is period – Chaucer wrote a “Treatise on the Astrolabe” c.1391, in which he translated earlier Moslem texts – but no examples of it have been found in period armory.  In Society heraldry, the astronomer’s astrolabe is granted no difference from a roundel.

Mariner's astrolabe (Acceptable)

Mariner’s astrolabe (Accepted)

A simplified form of astrolabe, the “mariner’s astrolabe”, was used for navigation; it’s distinguished by large holes in the plate, so the wind wouldn’t interfere with surveying.  While it too was a period artifact, dating from Portugal c.1480, no armorial examples have been found.

See also clock, equatorium, quadrant, sphere, sundial.

David MacColin bears:  Per chevron throughout sable and argent, two open penannular brooches palewise, pins to base, and an astrolabe counterchanged.

Duncan Ramsay bears:  Quarterly gules and vert, an astrolabe within an orle wavy Or.

Vincent McThomas bears:  Argent, a mariner’s astrolabe azure and a ford proper.

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