Horizontal dial

Portable horizontal dial for latitude 49° North. This is a circular wooden and ivory dial with a decorated back. The obverse side consists of a central compass plate stamped with the cardinal points named in Latin, with an arrowhead at North. The winds are shown pictorially at quadrantal points. The needle is blued, has an arrowhead for North and is surmounted by a brass pyramidal pivot cut into a cross at the top. There is a glass plate over all secured by a twisted brass ring. The whole compass is rotatable to allow for the adjustment for magnetic variation. There is a circle with leaf engravings and holes for positioning the gnomon, which is missing. There is also an hour scale and a Geodetic compass scale. The reverse side is edged by an ivory circle engraved with a wheatsheaf design. The remainder is wood inlaid with ivory depicting leaf designs.

There is a dial in the British Museum (registration no. 1862,8-9.3) that carries designs on its front similar to those on the back of this instrument. The British Museum's dial is about twice the size of this one and is signed and dated on the back 'HANS GRAF ZV GVNDHALBING IM 1563 IAR'. This instrument, in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, is probably also made by Hans Graf.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0484
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Horizontal dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Graf, Hans
Date made: 1550-1600
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 12.5 x 90 mm

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