Diptych dial

Diptych dial for latitudes 5°-70° North for equinoctial dial (49° North for the horizontal and vertical dial). Rectangular ivory dial consisting of two leaves that fold flat when not in use. Leaf Ia features a standard windrose (see related terms), inside of which is set a lunar volvelle. Stamped above and below the windrose is an instruction in German: 'If I, the compass, am to point correctly, then do not use me near iron'. On the right-hand side of leaf Ib is a degree scale for use with the equinoctial dial. A black string gnomon is attached between the inner surfaces of the two leaves. It carries the horizontal dial and a single dial for Italian and Babylonian hours with a brass pin gnomon. Leaf IIb contains a sizeable table of latitudes for places in Europe. Reinmann's maker's mark - a crown - appears twice at the base of the table, and on leaf Ib the dial is signed 'PAVLVS REINMAN NORIMBER GÆ FACIEBAT.'.

This is by far the largest of the ivory diptych dials in the NMM collection, and the only one representing the work of Paul Reinmann, the most prominent Nuremberg maker of the early 17th century. The table of latitudes covers one hundred locations. Other such latitude tables can be seen on examples of Reinmann's work from the Oxford Museum for the History of Science (new inventory nos. 46175 and 70405), from the Whipple Museum (accession no. Wh: 1687) and in the Beltrame Collection in Vicenza.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0464
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Diptych dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Reinmann, Paul
Date made: circa 1600
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 14.5 x 72 x 114 mm

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