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Vertical Dial
16th century; German
Gilt brass; 100 mm in height

Prismatic box with domed and hinged lid containing a compass. When the lid is hinged open it rests horizontally so that the compass, the meridian line of which is set parallel to the diameter joining the front and back corners of the box, may be used to orient the dial. Within the box is a metal frame carrying a counterweighted perpendicular rod attached at the bottom to the frame by a double pivot so that it can oscillate in any direction and thus indicate when the dial is level. The two front faces of the canister which when it is oriented recline by 45?, are engraved at the top with equal hour dials for 48?, 4 to 12 to 2 and 10 to 12 to 8 without subdivisions. Below this is an hour diagram for the length of day and night with the arcs of the Tropics and the equinoxes named and the day and night lengths indicated against the intermediate arcs. Of the two back faces of the dial, one is filled with a table of the planetary rulers of the unequal hours, the other is filled with flowing leaf decoration within a double rule border. All inscriptions are in Latin and they and the numerals are punched.

Anthony J. Turner

Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, Firenze
Inventory no. 2534

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