Diptych dial

Diptych dial for latitudes 0°-80° North for equinoctial dial (54° North for horizontal dial). Rectangular ivory dial consisting of two leaves that fold flat when not in use. Leaf Ia is that of a standard equinoctial dial (see related terms) and there is a table of latitudes above the dial for places in Europe. Leaf Ib is as standard except the dial at the top shows only Italian and Babylonian hours. It carries a vertical dial and the southern part of the equinoctial dial. Attached between the inner faces of the two leaves is a string gnomon for use with the main dials. Leaf IIa is as standard except the horizontal dial is for latitude 54° North.

The compass is marked with eight winds named in Italian and it is offset 11° East of North to allow for magnetic variation. The right-hand side has a slot containing a decorated brass strut for use with the latitude scale of the equinoctial dial. Leaf IIb is bare apart from Reinmann's maker's mark - a crown. There is a brass cover at the end of leaf II over the hole that would have held the pin gnomon for the equinoctial dial.

This dial is very similar to AST0156, with the same decoration and an almost identical list of towns. On both instruments, Nuremberg, Florence and Sicily are given non-standard latitudes. The high latitude (54° North) given for the horizontal dial suggests that it was made to order for a buyer in Northern Germany. On leaf IIb, it is signed 'ANNO 1562 IERONIMVS REINMAN NORENBERGE FACIEBAT'.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0460
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Diptych dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Reinman, Hieronymus
Date made: 1562
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 12.5 x 56.5 x 91 mm

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