211 of 520
Sorted by:
Instrument type

Diptych Dial
Signed by Paul Reinmann
circa 1600; Nuremberg
Ivory and brass; 94 x 141 x 18 mm

The outer part of the upper leaf has a pierced lunar volvelle combined with a wind rose, universal equatorial dial, zodiac and calendar scale. The face is decorated in the spandrels and on the whole border with a moon and stars motif typical of Reinmann, and is inscribed 'TEMPORA LABVNTVR TACITISQVE SENESCIMVS ANNIS ET FVGIVNT FRENO NON REMORANTE DIES' ('the times slip away and we grow old with the silently passing years; there is no bridle that can curb the flying days' - Ovid, Fasti, book 6, lines 771-2). Another inscription at the bottom reads 'wen ich kumpast recht sol weissen so richt mich nicht nahe bey eissen' ('when I, compass, must point properly then do not use [direct] me nearby iron').

The inner part of the upper leaf has a pin gnomon dial with length of the day and of the night and planetary hours marked in red from 1 to 11. The decoration on the top and the bottom of the pin gnomon dial consists of flowers and snails, and flowers on both sides. Below, a string gnomon dial with common hours marked from VI to XII to VI with dots and lines for the half and quarter hour. At the centre a gilt brass plate with a wind rose and on the borders the same typical decoration as in the outer sides. At the bottom an inscription reads 'PAVLVS REINMAN NORIMBERGAE FACIEBAT'. On the right edge a brass arm is provided for fixing the latitude.

The inner part of the lower leaf has a compass with the maker's mark (a crown) painted twice, encircled by a string gnomon dial with common hours marked 4 to 12 to 8 with dots and lines for the half and quarter hours. Below, a pin gnomon dial reads Italian hours marked in green and black from 8 to 23 and Babylonian hours marked in red from 1 to 16 and a twelve-leaf flower below. On the sides there are two vases with flowers and arabesques in the spandrels, and the same decoration of moon and stars on the borders.

The outer side of the lower leaf has a table of latitudes and the maker's mark (a crown) twice at the bottom. On the left edge there is a compartment for the wind vane (missing), on the bottom a conic hole for stowing the pin and on the right side a brass unequal scale of latitudes, from 20? to 70? by 2?, numbered by 10?.

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

Ilaria Meliconi

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 46175

© Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. All rights reserved. Information and images provided here may not be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the museum.

Basic URL:

|| Introduction || Essay || Museums || Bibliography || Conventions || Credits || Privacy || Help ||
|Catalogue entries |Handlist || Makers || Places || Articles || Glossary || Search || Home ||