Horizontal dial

Portable horizontal dial for latitude 50° North. The dial is shell-shaped and cut from a copper sheet. All the markings are in relief. On the hour scale, the hour-lines radiate from a sunface. 'HORISONTAL DE 50 DEGRES' (Horizontal dial for 50°) is marked at the top of the dial. A table for the equation of time is marked radially between the hour-lines, titled: 'Equation Du Soleil'. In the centre, there is a circular hole and the gnomon is missing. The dial-plate is split along the '7 am' line and is also corroded in this area.

Although this instrument seems to have been intended as a garden dial, the lack of patination suggests that it may never have been used in this context. The use of raised markings is unusual. A latitude of 50° would be suitable for Dieppe or Amiens.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0160
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Horizontal dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 1800
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Diameter: 148 mm

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