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Inventory no. 78766 - Epact entry

Epact number: 80016

Diptych Dial

Attributed to a Tucher workshop
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Ivory; 139 x 75 x 15 mm

Main text

This dial is unusually wide, and finely decorated with fruits and flowers. The small scaphe dials indicate Italian hours (or 'Welsch hour') and 'Penmische' hours - probably another name for the same system of hours.

On the outer part of both leaves is the same decoration with two full figures.

Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 78766

Detailed text

The outer part of the upper leaf of this dial has a wind rose with 32 directions, 16 of which are named in German. On the sides of the wind rose are two figures and a foliage decoration.

The inner part of the upper leaf has at the centre a set of holes for adjusting the latitude to 54°, 48° and 42° enclosed in ellipses. On the right side is a pin gnomon dial indicating 'WELSCH VHR' from 14 to 24 and foliate decoration. On the left is another pin gnomon dial indicating 'QVANTIDASS DIEI' from 8 to 16 and the declination of the sun by means of the symbols of the zodiac signs. Below the pin gnomon dials is a decoration of fruits and flowers in brown and green.

The inner side of the lower leaf has a compass (glass missing) in the centre, engraved with the abbreviated names of the cardinal points and the maker's mark (a crowned snake). Around the compass is a string gnomon dial for the aforementioned latitudes, with common hours numbered from 4 to 12 to 8, from IIII to XII to VIII and again from 4 to 12 to 8. On the right side of the dial is a scaphe dial 'WELSCH VHR' indicated from 9 to 23 for latitude 45 ('P 45 G'), and on the left another scaphe dial for hours indicated 'PENMISCHE VHR' numbered from 9 to 23 for latitude 51 ('P 51 G'). The remaining space of the leaf is filled with a decoration of fruits and flowers.

The outer part of the leaf has a brass lunar volvelle with a half moon as decoration and on the ivory around it, the same two figures as in the other leaf, and three bun feet.

Ilaria Meliconi

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