The armillary sphere is
not strictly an instrument used for mapping or navigation. However, it
was used to determine the celestial latitude and longitude of
celestial bodies from a fixed position, and helped astronomers
understand the heavens, which, in turn, helped navigators use the
heavens to determine their locations.
Moeller ~ 1687
The armillary sphere was made by
J. Moeller in 1687 and today is in the National Mathematical and
Physics Collection at Dresden.
Miklos Pinther, "...More
on Armillary Spheres,"
The Carto-Philatelist, 32:2:(1987)56.
Matteo Ricci appears as a
Chinese scholar on this stamp. The armillary sphere is
probably from the 16th century. The stamp was issued in 1983 to mark
the 400th anniversary of Ricci's arrival in China.
The armillary sphere below
is from the title page of volume 5 of Jean Blaeu's Geographia
Blauiane published in Amserdam in 1667. In addition to the
armillary sphere there are figures of Chronus and Hercules and the
motto, "Indefessus Agendo" (for which I have found no translation).
This stamp was issued to
commemorate the 5th centenary of the death of Henry the Navigator in