Horizontal dial

Portable horizontal dial for latitude 49° North. This is an oval shaped silver dial with a brass gnomon brace. The obverse side carries an hour scale, depicted on a scroll, with the numbers enamelled in black. There is a circular flower design at the base of the style and it is marked 'EI 49 De' (49 degrees elevation - i.e. latitude of 49 degrees) between the ends of the scroll. The gnomon is hinged, folding flat when not in use. It is simply shaped and well decorated with leaves. The reverse side features acanthus decoration on the compass base. The compass and two turned silver legs support the dial-plate. On the compass, the Meridian line is marked and North is marked by an initial. The needle has an open circle for North and is surmounted by a brass pyramidal pivot. It has a convex glass cover.

The dial has an oval shaped black fishskin case, with faded orange velvet lining and three metal hook fasteners. This instrument is unremarkable and typically French. However, the gnomon is of a slightly unusual design, in the shaping of its northern edge and its decorative engraving. The dial is signed 'Choizy AParis' on its reverse side.

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

Object Details

ID: AST0496
Collection: Astronomical and navigational instruments
Type: Horizontal dial
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Choizy, Jean
Date made: Mid to late 17th century
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: Overall: 8 x 77 x 101.5 mm
Parts: Horizontal dial

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