Horizontal dial

Portable horizontal dial for latitude 47° North. This is a rectangular brass dial with traces of silvering. On the dial-plate is an hour scale depicted on a scroll. The remainder of the dial, both front and back, is covered with florid floral designs. The gnomon is hinged, folds flat when not in use and is shaped and engraved with a floral design. On the compass, the silvering is intact and the cardinal points are marked in Latin, with South nearest to the gnomon. The magnetic variation is marked at 3° West of North. The needle, with an arrowhead for North, is surmounted by a brass pyramidal pivot. There is a chipped glass plate over all. The compass and two turned legs support the dial-plate.

The style of decoration on the front of this dial suggests a French origin and the magnetic variation is consistent with a date at the very end of the 17th century.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0255
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Horizontal dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: Late 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 8 x 64 x 80.5 mm

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