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Diptych Dial
Late 16th century ?; Nuremberg
Bone; 50 x 62 x 18 mm

The outer sides of both leaves of this oval shape dial are blank. The inner side of the upper leaf has a decoration of tangent circles and the date '1592[?]'. The inner side of the lower leaf has a compass inscribed 'S' and 'M' (needle detached) and the hour lines for a horizontal string gnomon dial around it. The hour lines mark common hours from V to XII to VII with dots for the half hour. The lower leaf is badly cracked across. A small catch near the hinge keeps the dial open when in use.

The instrument was formerly in the Ilbert Collection and was presented by Gilbert Edgar in 1958. It is described in F. A. B. Ward, A Catalogue of European Scientific Instruments in the Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities of the British Museum (London, 1981), p. 22, no.14.

Ilaria Meliconi

British Museum, London
Registration no. MLA 1958, 10-6.2415

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