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Scientific Instruments From Antique Florentine Collections

Institute and Museum of the History of Science
February 11 - October 29, 2009



This exhibition represents a selection of some of the most important antique scientific instruments that were collected during the Medici and Lorena dynasties.

The first part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Medici collection and features sophisticated and elegantly-crafted instruments made by some of Tuscany and other countries’ most noted craftsmen.
This section includes some ancient astrolabes, beautifully crafted quadrants, sundials, nocturnal dials, geometric and magnetic compasses.  You may also view nautical instruments, antique telescopes, apparatuses for the study of optics, as well as various thermometers and experimental apparatuses of the Accademia di Cimento.

The second half of the exhibition features the Lorena collection and focuses on electrostatic, mechanical and physics instruments.  These instruments are testimony to the innovative concept during the Era of Enlightment by Pietro Leopoldo who sought to spread scientific culture throughout the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  You may also admire a collection of precious mechanical pocket watches and clocks.

This selective exhibition which serves as a kind of preview of the future museum will also give visitors an illustrative look at the final results of the major restoration and remodelling that are currently in progress on the first and second floors.  The museum plans to inaugurate this project and reopening of its permanent collection in January 2010 under the new name, Museum Galileo.

© 2009 IMSS · Piazza dei Giudici 1 · 50122 Florence · ITALY