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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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pounce-pot / polyhedral dial / ink-pot / crucifix dial / compass-dial

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1922,0705.4

  • Description

    Crucifix dial; gilt brass; cross mounted on base, resting on plinth with ball feet; one side hinged; pivoted compass box set for N3E mounted on top of cross(glass missing); small drawer in base containing ink-pot and pounce-pot; a) volvelle linking solar and lunar times on front of cross with inscription and coat of arms; b) engraved crucifix, inscription, volvelle linking hours a.m. and p.m. with Italian hours inside back of cross; vertical sides engraved; planetary table on underside

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  • Date

    • 16thC(late) (?)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 80 millimetres (base)
    • Width: 63 millimetres (base)
    • Height: 250 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Content

        TABEL LA EX qua cognoscitz quot horas et minuta nocturnus Lunae splen dor effici at
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Content

        INRI
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Content

        TABVLA DOMINII PLA NETARVM
  • Curator's comments

    It was not unusual for crucifix dials to be used as reliquaries, combining the useful purpose with the sacred.
    This instrument probably had a more profane design: one whole side can be lifted, to reveal another brass plate, a pair of drawers (probably an ink pot and a pounce pot) and another empty compartment.
    [I. Meliconi, EPACT 1998, http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=76063]

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  • Bibliography

    • Ward 1981 073 bibliographic details
    • EPACT 1998 http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=76063 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1922

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1922,0705.4


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Object reference number: MCC3260

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