Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

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    SINCE 1940 the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, has been making inquiries as to the whereabouts of a number of valuable and irreplaceable objects which had been stored at the beginning of the War by the late curator of the Museum, Dr. R. T. Gunther. These included the oldest dated instrument in the world, an astrolabe dated A.D. 984, the astrolabes of Queen Elizabeth and Archbishop Laud, the sundial made by Nicolaus Kratzer for Cardinal Wolsey, and many other treasures. Dr. Gunther died Without revealing the place where he liad stored these valuables. They have now been found in the stone-vaulted basement of the Museum, packed in three cases which were labelled as containing various astronomical instruments of the late eighteenth century and mixed with a number of cases actually containing such instruments. By this means, it is conjectured, Dr. Gunther had intended not only to protect them from air attack but also from the searches of a possible invader. It is hoped that the Museum will open next October, when these treasures will be displayed once more to public view.

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    Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. Nature 162, 175–176 (1948) doi:10.1038/162175d0

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