Armilar Venture Partners. Such is our name and our identity, represented in the stylised armillary sphere of our logo ("armilar” is, obviously, the Portuguese word for "armillary”). We feel that it very strongly conveys a number of things that we identify ourselves with, as a team, and we were unbelievably thrilled to find it. It is both profoundly linked to our Portuguese identity and of a multi-cultural nature. It is an object that pays respect to both the rigour of science and the beauty of art. It carries both a significance of respect for history and a connotation with the adventurous, with the advancement of knowledge and new discoveries.
The armillary sphere was, primordially, an instrument of science, more specifically, of astronomy. It is a model of the path of celestial objects, consisting of a spherical framework of rings (annulets, or "armilas” in Portuguese), centred on Earth (the more common Ptolemaic armillary spheres) or the Sun (the Copernican armillary spheres). In its most essential modern version, it includes rings for the polar meridians, the equator, northern and southern parallels and the ecliptic. The scientific minds of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe developed it into very intricate mechanisms of great precision that were equally fitted to show either the real rotational motion of the Earth or the apparent motion of the celestial dome around the Earth. This resulted in beautiful, artful objects that are a tribute to the resourcefulness and resolute of those great minds.
But the origins of the "modern” armillary spheres date back to far more ancient, and very disparate, cultures. It is believed to have been invented separately in ancient China, in ancient Greece and developed in the islamic world. In China, representations of the armillary sphere date back to the 4th century BC, with several improvements being successively made through several Chinese dynasties. In ancient Greece the invention of the armillary sphere is traced to the 3rd century BC, where it was already used in teaching. Persian and Arab astronomers picked up the Greek armillary sphere and developed it further in the 8th century, in what is believed to be the origin of the spherical astrolabe which evolved into the more modern (and portable) navigational instruments used by European navigators later on. Eventually, the armillary sphere was introduced in western Europe in the 10th century, where it continued to be developed as the prime instrument for astronomers for determining celestial positions, until the advent of the modern telescope in the 17th century. Armillary spheres were among the first complex mechanical devices, with their development leading to many improvements in techniques and design of precise mechanical instruments. Renaissance scientists and public figures often had their portraits painted showing them with one hand on an armillary sphere, which represented the height of wisdom and knowledge.
Following its introduction in Europe and its important symbolic weight, the armillary sphere was extensively used in heraldry, being mainly known as a symbol associated with Portugal, and specifically with the Portuguese Empire and the Portuguese discoveries from the 15th century. Its intense use in documents, monuments, flags and other supports during the reign of King Manuel I of Portugal transformed it into a national symbol. To this day, it survives as a central piece of the Portuguese national flag.
We strive to honour the significance of all this symbolism. We hope that you are witnessing the growth of a brand that will be long lasting and successful, and we hope that you like it as much as we do. We couldn’t be prouder of wearing the name Armilar Venture Partners.