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Polyhedral Dial
Signed by Hans Tucher
Dated 1596; Nuremberg
Ivory and gilt brass; 82 x 58 x 54 mm

The six faces of the polyhedral dial are stamped and engraved as follows.

1. A horizontal dial with hour lines for '42', '48' and '54' degrees, with a circular hole for an inset compass, containing a pin support and north line (with fleur-de-lis) offset for magnetic variation.. Only the lines for 48 degrees and numbered 4 to 12 to 8. The support for the string gnomon, the magnetic needle and the glazed compass cover are missing. A horizontal pin-gnomon dial for Italian hours.

2. A vertical direct west pin-gnomon dial for common and Italian hours, stamped 'OCCIDENS'.

3. A vertical direct east pin-gnomon dial for common and Italian hours, stamped 'ORIENS'

4. A vertical pin-gnomon dial for length of day and the sun's position in the zodiac. The lines are marked from 8 to 16 and have zodiacal symbols. Stamped: 'ILLA CVSPIS INCREMENTVM ET DECREMENTVM DIEI ET DVODECIM SIGNA'.

5. A lunar volvelle with two concentric scales 1 to 29 (age of the moon) and 1 to 12 twice (hours), but missing the volvelle plate with hour divisions that should rotate above these.

6. Signed 'H D 1596', stamped with Tucher's mark - a serpent - and with the advice 'COMPASSVS PROPE FERRVM NON RECTE ASSIGNARE POTEST.' (near iron the compass cannot point properly).

Jim Bennett

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 55574

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