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Diptych Dial
Attributed to Johann Eicktet
Dated 1584; German
Gilt brass; 51 x 38 x 8 mm

This simple diptych dial consists of a main box and hinged lid, with vertical and horizontal string gnomon dials. The box has a suspension ring and the lid can be fixed vertical by a hook clasp.

The outer face of the lid is engraved with foliage, birds and animals; inside there is a vertical dial with hours from 6 to 12 to 6. At the base of the dial are the initials 'I E', presumed to be for Johann Eicktet and the inscription 'POLVS . HEH . 47 . GRAD'.

The main box carries a horizontal dial plate with hours from 4 to 12 to 8 and the date 1584. In the centre of the plate is a compass of 18 mm diameter, marked for variation and the four cardinal points ('SE', 'OR', 'ME', 'OC').

The underside is again decoratively engraved, with foliage, fruit and birds.

The instrument has a carrying case made of vellum and pasteboard covered in leather.

Provenance: Michel Collection; Billmeir Collection (57-84/75).

Stephen Johnston

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
Inventory number 53969

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