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Inventory no. 82248 - Epact entry

Epact number: 78698

Diptych Dial

circa 1600; Italian ?
Ivory and brass; 56 x 69 x 12 mm

Main text

This dial is neither signed nor dated, but since its folding brass gnomon is for a latitude of about 45°, it has been identified as Italian.

The general decoration is quite simple and geometrical, but the compass card is richly painted and gilt, another element typical of Italian and Spanish dials.

Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 82,248

Detailed text

The outer side of the upper leaf has a horizontal dial for latitude circa 45° with folding brass gnomon and compass viewing hole. The dial has common hours numbered from IIII to XII to VIII to the half-hour and decoration of stars and foliage.

The inner side of the upper leaf has a pin gnomon dial for Italian hours, numbered from 14 to 23. There is a multiple half circle as decoration on the bottom.

The inner side of the lower leaf has a compass (needle missing) with card painted in gold, red and blue and a decoration of lines and dots on the sides. Below is a pin gnomon dial for Italian hours numbered from 10 to 24 with a circular motif similar to the one on the upper leaf.

The outer side of the lower leaf is blank.

See P. Gouk, The Ivory Sundials of Nuremberg 1500-1700 (Cambridge, 1988).

Ilaria Meliconi

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