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Inventory no. 38669 - Epact entry

Epact number: 19573

Horizontal Dial

Signed by Paul Reinmann
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Brass, ivory, enamel; 36 mm in diameter

Main text

This small, octagonal horizontal string gnomon sundial was perhaps intended as a wedding or engagement present. It is certainly more of a decorative object than an accurate time-telling device.

The lid carries a miniature enamel painting of a young couple, while other faces of the instrument have engravings of a hare and of a cock crowing.

The ivory compass bowl contains the crown punch-mark of Paul Reinmann of Nuremberg.

Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 38,669

Detailed text

The instrument consists of a gilt brass octagonal box with a fixed suspension ring and a hinged lid.

The outside of the lid carries a circular miniature enamel painting of a young couple, with a glass cover. The inside of the cover shows an engraved hare.

The dial plate and compass bowl in the main box are of ivory with the numbers of the hour scale 5 to 12 to 7 in red. The dial is for about 48° latitude. The compass bowl is 19 mm in diameter, is marked for variation and also carries the crown punch-mark of Paul Reinmann.

The sides of the main box are decorated with roundels and stylised sheaves and its base has an engraving of a cock crowing.

Provenance: Michel Collection; Billmeir Collection (57-84/55)

Stephen Johnston

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