An early and fine sector by Jean Lefebvre circa 1690. Features floral designs at the hinge, the characteristic sun sign faces and early spelling such as “Egalles.” This sector was found inside the wall of a historic house in Germany.
Jean Lefebvre (1652-1706) was a French astronomer and instrument maker who was born in Lisieux, France, in 1652 and taught himself astronomy while working as a weaver. He became assistant to Jean Picard at the College de Lisieux, collaborating on astronomical calculations for Picard’s journal Connaissances des temps. Lefevre’s work impressed his colleagues to such an extent that they nominated him for membership in the acclaimed Academie des Sciences in Paris.
LeFebvre dabbled professionally in the field of cartography and was an innovator in mathematical instruments, inventing a new planisphere in 1702 and an improved micrometer in 1705. He worked at the Quai d’Horloge in Paris under the sign of the Two Globes. His Son, Etienne-Jean Lefebvre (d. 1753), continued the business under the sign “au Gran Turc”.
A fine graphometer by Lefebvre is in the collections of the Adler Planetarium:
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