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The symbolism of the armillary sphere
Now relatively obsolete, armillary spheres - like this one reproduced in wood by Robert Marichy, a wood turner in Arinthod in the Jura department - did not become popular until the end of the Middle Ages. During the Renaissance, many scholars and personalities were portrayed with their hand resting on an armillary sphere which then represented the summit of knowledge and wisdom. The symbol of the Portuguese Empire, it still appears under the royal shield of the Portuguese flag.
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