Horizontal dial

Portable horizontal dial for latitude 50°. The dial sits in a carved ivory case with a screw-on lid. The outside is carved with flower motifs and there is a carved heart on the inside of the lid. The base of the box carries the compass needle on a mount. It is offset 3° West of North to allow for magnetic variation (marked with a fleur-de-lys). The compass glass is broken. There is a circular silver dial-plate set over the compass, pierced by a shaped hole to allow a view of the compass needle. There is an hour scale whose hour-lines radiate from a decoration at the base of the gnomon. It is a spring-loaded brass rod gnomon and it is attached to a brass plate lying beneath the dial-plate. The base of the ivory case is carved and painted in red, gold and green with a floral design. The signature, 'W Hagar 20 Aug. 16[?]8' is very faded.

Wolfgang Hager worked in Wolfenbiittel near Braunschweig, at the end of the 17th century. He worked in metal as well as ivory (see AST0405) and, in both media, followed the style of the South German makers of Nuremberg and Augsburg. It is impossible to read the third digit of the year of production due to the wear on the signature. A similar dial, probably also by Hager, is in the MHS, Oxford (new inventory no. 38597).

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

Object Details

ID: AST0293
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Horizontal dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Hager, Wolfgang
Date made: Late 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 15 x 50 mm
Parts: Horizontal dial

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