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Inventory no. 37833 - Epact entry

Epact number: 78953

Diptych Dial

Attributed to Paul Reinmann
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Ivory and brass; 69 x 48 x 11 mm

Main text

The presence of the maker's mark is not always decisive in the attribution of an instrument, as in this case, which has the mark painted inside the compass. A coronet was used by Paul Reinmann until his death in 1609, but the same coronet was used by another Nuremberg maker, Michael Lesel, from 1609 to 1629.

The dial has the form of a book with brass clasps and spandrels, and has figures of saints on the outer sides of both leaves.



Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 37,833



Detailed text

Each of the outer leaves of this dial in the form of a book is decorated with brass spandrels and clasps, and has four bun feet. The outer part of the upper leaf has a picture of an unidentified bearded saint in toga, holding a spear, with a foliate tendril on each side.

The inner part of the upper leaf has a string gnomon dial with common hours numbered from VI to XII to VI, a sun effigy in the centre and quatrefoils enclosed in the spandrels.

The inner part of the lower leaf has a compass (ring missing) with the cardinal points marked 'SE', 'OR', 'ME' and 'OC' and the maker's mark (a crown). This mark was used by Paul Reinmann until his death in 1609, but the same mark was used by Michael Lesel from 1609 to 1629. The string gnomon dial has common hours numbered from 5 to 12 to 7 with dots and lines for the half and quarter hours. In the spandrel spaces is the same decoration as in the upper leaf.

The outer part of the lower leaf has a picture of St. Peter in toga, holding a sword, with similar foliate tendrils on the sides and brass spandrels as in the upper leaf.

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

Ilaria Meliconi

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