Universal equinoctial ring dial

Universal equinoctial ring dial for latitudes 0°-90° North. Standard dial (see related terms) except for the following details:-

The dial is for northern latitudes only and the degree scale on the meridian ring is divided clockwise [0°]-90°. The remainder of the ring has a table of latitudes for places in France, which is completed on the obverse side of the equinoctial ring. The dial has hour scales on the reverse side and the inner-rim of the equinoctial ring. There is a date scale, but no declination scale and the equinoxes are marked at 20 March and 20 September. The stops have a floral design.

The dial has been damaged by the crude addition of the latitudes for 'Langres' and 'Autun' by a later hand. This was presumably done by an owner living in the vicinity of these towns (both lying relatively close to Dijon). The original list of latitudes also includes several minor French towns, such as 'Clermont', 'Dole' and 'Cambrai'. The latitude given for 'Clermont' is inaccurate - it should be 49° 23'. It is possible that Butterfield actually intended Clefinont, whose latitude is 48° 06'. The dial is signed 'Butterfield AParis' on the obverse side of the meridian ring.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0330
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Universal equinoctial ring dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Butterfield, Michael
Date made: 1675-1715
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 3 x 85.5 mm

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