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Horizontal Dial
Late 16th century ?; German
Gilt brass; 72 x 90 x 12 mm

This dial is in the form of an elliptical gilt brass box with suspension ring, finely decorated on the external sides with vases, flowers and foliage.

The inside of the lid is blank, and the inside of the box has a dial plate with a small compass. The pin gnomon can be folded. The hour lines mark Italian hours from 12 to 22 and common hours marked along the equinox line, in a rather crude way, VIII, X, XII, I, II, III, IIII. These were probably engraved later.

The rim of the box is also decorated with foliage, and a hook keeps the instrument closed when not in use.

The instrument was bequeathed by Octavius Morgan Bequest in 1888 and 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. 24, no.21.

Ilaria Meliconi

British Museum, London
Registration no. MLA 1888, 12-1.291

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