316. A Pair of Brass Great Stellated Dodecahedrons

France, early 19th century
Size: 32 cm high


Alchemical toy-cupboard

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These are rare three-dimensional realizations of Wentzel Jamnitzer’s engravings of polyhedra, published in 1568 in Nuremberg. This book was based on Plato’s Timaeus and Euclid’s Elements, and contains 120 forms based on Platonic solids. Johannes Kepler presented them mathematically for the first time in 1619. The magnificently bearded Jamnitzer worked as court goldsmith for all the German emperors of his era, including Charles V, Ferdinand I, Maximilian II and Rudolf II.