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Diptych Dial
Attributed to Paul Reinmann
Later 16th century; Nuremberg
Ivory and gilt brass; 40 x 30 x 8 mm

This unusually small diptych dial in a fitting brass container is signed 'P R' with the maker's mark of a crown and is therefore very likely to have been made by Paul Reinmann, the most prominent ivory compass maker in Nuremberg, whose earliest and latest instruments are recorded between 1575 and 1608 respectively.

The engraved shield of arms on the inner surface of the upper leaf allows the Holzschuher family of Nuremberg to be identified as the first owners.

The instrument contains a volvelle for converting common hours into Babylonian hours according to the length of the day and a vertical and horizontal string gnomon dial with an inset compass.

British Museum, London
Registration no. MLA 1871,11-15.14

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