The contrefait sphere was bought for the museum collection at a sale of the legacy of suffragan bishop Franjo Gašparić in Zagreb, 1893. This example belongs to a type of rare turned decorative objects made from a single piece of ivory, in the form of a pillar ending with a system of perforated balls located one inside another. Such objects were produced at the end of the 16th and in the early 17th century, and in their design and workmanship represented the acme of the current knowledge of geometry. Contrefait spheres were at first exhibited in the cabinets of wonders of German electors. In time their popularity grew and spread to the other lands of Europe of the time, in which in many residences they were the most highly valued exhibits. One of the best known families of craftsmen in which the skill of turning contrefait spheres was handed down from father to son was that of the Zicks of Nuremberg.

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