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Diptych Dial
Attributed to a Thomas Tucher
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Ivory; 139 x 75 x 15 mm

The outer part of the upper leaf of this dial has a wind rose with 32 directions, 16 of which are named in German. On the sides of the wind rose are two figures and a foliage decoration.

The inner part of the upper leaf has at the centre a set of holes for adjusting the latitude to 54?, 48? and 42? enclosed in ellipses. On the right side is a pin gnomon dial indicating 'WELSCH VHR' from 14 to 24 and foliate decoration. On the left is another pin gnomon dial indicating 'QVANTIDASS DIEI' from 8 to 16 and the declination of the sun by means of the symbols of the zodiac signs. Below the pin gnomon dials is a decoration of fruits and flowers in brown and green.

The inner side of the lower leaf has a compass (glass missing) in the centre, engraved with the abbreviated names of the cardinal points and the maker's mark (a crowned snake). Around the compass is a string gnomon dial for the aforementioned latitudes, with common hours numbered from 4 to 12 to 8, from IIII to XII to VIII and again from 4 to 12 to 8. On the right side of the dial is a scaphe dial 'WELSCH VHR' indicated from 9 to 23 for latitude 45 ('P 45 G'), and on the left another scaphe dial for hours indicated 'PENMISCHE VHR' numbered from 9 to 23 for latitude 51 ('P 51 G'). The remaining space of the leaf is filled with a decoration of fruits and flowers.

The outer part of the leaf has a brass lunar volvelle with a half moon as decoration and on the ivory around it, the same two figures as in the other leaf, and three bun feet.

Ilaria Meliconi

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 78766

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