Nowadays armillary globes, usually wrongly called spherical astrolabes, are used as prestigious sculptures for representative places, squares, business centres, parks or gardens for stargazing.

Armillary spheres are ancient objects which were used as an astronomical instrument, and for educational purposes. History has it that the armillary sphere was invented by Eratosthenes around 250 BC. He designed it to study the motion of the sky and the position of the stars around the Earth. In fact, the armillary sphere represents the celestial sphere seen from the Earth, with the rotation axis at the centre whose extremes represent the astronomical North Pole and the South Pole.

The constituent elements of the armillary sphere are the armillaries, i.e. the rings intertwined together to form the celestial sphere, which represent the invisible arcs of the meridians and the celestial parallels, the astronomical equator and the horizon line. Invisible arcs, when we observe the sky directly, because they are virtual divisions of the celestial sphere, designed to be able to unequivocally measure the motion of celestial bodies, just as we are used to observing the virtual circles of meridians and parallels on globes to define longitude and latitude.

Nowadays, of course, the armillary sphere has lost its technical-scientific function, but its popularity as a garden sculpture or for urban furniture and as a sundial is increasing. Armillary globe sundials with an arrow is a much more complex work than a simple garden decoration; to all intents and purposes, it is a work of art that dialogues with the values of our individual and collective identity capable of catalyzing anyone’s curiosity, showing the infinity of the celestial vault in the finiteness of an astronomical instrument.

When creating armillary spheres on commission I take care of the astronomical calculation: the armillary spheres I build are in fact designed specifically for the geographical coordinates of the place where the installation is planned. I build many types of armillary spheres: in stainless steel, cor-ten steel and bronze. The sundial that marks true solar time is created by tracing the hours on the equatorial arc over which, during the day, the shadow of the polar axis of the sphere flows, indicating the hours.

Like all garden sundials, armillary spheres are also used as precious gifts for wedding anniversaries or other important events. They are designed on commission for any country, based on the geographical coordinates of the installation site. Then they are created in our laboratory and shipped to the customer. They can be customized with verses, phrases or commemorative dates dedicated to those celebrating.

Following is a series of examples of some armillary spheres, as all my works are entirely designed and created by me.

For more information on the feasibility of an armillary sphere or the related costs, please contact me via email or phone.

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