Diptych dial

Diptych dial for latitudes 40°-55° North. Rectangular wooden dial faced with paper consisting of two leaves that fold flat when not in use. The dial is surrounded by a decorative border with a floral pattern. A string gnomon, adjustable for latitudes of 36°-55°, is attached between the inner surfaces of the two leaves. There is a table of latitudes listing towns in Europe and the USA. The compass is marked with eight points in German and the magnetic variation is marked at 18° West of North. The compass rose is coloured pink for cardinal points and yellow and green for quadrantal points. It has a blued needle in the form of an arrow, surmounted by a brass pyramidal pivot. The glass plate is held in place by a copper ring. The leaves have a copper hook fastener and a copper hook to hold them open.

This dial is similar to AST0363. However, while AST0363 has most of its town names in English, the present instrument was probably intended for a German market. Another example of Beringer's work is in the Whipple Museum (accession no. Wh: 1674). In the compass bowl, this dial is signed 'Verfertigt von David Beringer'.

For more information regarding this dial please refer to the OUP & NMM catalogue, 'Sundials at Greenwich'.

Object Details

ID: AST0150
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Diptych dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Beringer, David
Date made: 1777-1821
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall: 18 x 57.5 x 89 mm

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