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Inventory no. 34722 - Epact entry

Epact number: 65084

Diptych Dial

Unsigned
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Ivory and brass; 40 x 63 x 9 mm

Main text

The attribution of this small dial is rather difficult, depending only on the presence of a rather ambiguous maker's mark.

The mark punched on the outer side of the lower leaf is similar, but not identical to the ones used by members of the Reinmann family. However, the same mark in the form of a crown was also used by some members of the Lesel family of Nuremberg.




Source museum: Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Museum number: Inventory no. 34,722



Detailed text

The outer side of the upper leaf has a lunar volvelle with a moon effigy at the centre.

The inner part of the upper leaf has a pin gnomon dial for Italian hours numbered in red from 14 to 24. Below it is a string gnomon dial for common hours marked from 7 to 12 to 5 with dots and lines for the half and quarter hours. The decoration of a sun effigy is enclosed in eccentric circles at the centre of the dial.

The inner part of the lower leaf has a compass with magnetic deviation indicated, enclosed in a string gnomon dial with common hours numbered from 5 to 12 to 7 with dots and lines for the half and quarter of hours. Below is a pin gnomon dial for Italian hours numbered in red from 11 to 22.

The outer side of the lower leaf is blank except for the maker's mark (a coronet). This mark is similar, but not identical, to those used by members of the Reinmann family. The same mark in the form of a crown was used by some members of the Lesel family in Nuremberg.

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

Ilaria Meliconi

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