- Museum number
This circular brass horizontal sun- and moondial has a small COMPASS BOX with mica cover and brass lid attached to the handle, decorated on the outer side with strapwork, with an 8-pointed, interlaced star design centred on a floral motif.
The FRONT of the dial is inscribed on the limb with hours from 4 to 12 to 8, divided to the half hours. A folding and decorated GNOMON for latitude 48° is hinged on a lunar VOLVELLE. This is inscribed ‘OMNIA • CVM • TEMPORE • PRETEREVNT', with hours marked from 4 to  to 8. The volvelle is pierced twice, with a small aperture indicating the moon's age in figures and a bigger one showing the phase visually. Its remaining central part is decorated with strapwork.
On the BACK of the dial is a NOCTURNAL with its handle at 15 October. On the limb is a degree scale, numbered by 10. Further to the centre are the zodiac symbols, then the calendar scale, numbered by 10 to 30 or 31 as appropriate. The equinoxes are at 13 March and 15 September. Further to the centre are the initials of the names of the months in Italian or Latin, then the rotating arm of the nocturnal, with hours indicated 1 to 12 twice, then the arm of the nocturnal, both decorated with strapwork engraving incorporating floral motifs and scrolls.
- Production date
- 1575-1585 (ca. 1580)
Diameter: 44 millimetres
Length: 69 millimetres (with extension handle)
- Curator's comments
- The pierced volvelle has to be adjusted for the moon's age: if it is set to zero, the hour lines read solar time, whereas if the moon's age is set appropriately, they read lunar time. This measure is, however, not very precise, since the gnomon will no longer be parallel to the earth's axis.
Some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of this instrument.
[cf. I. Meliconi, EPACT 1998, http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=69145]
- Not on display
Latest: 3 (Oct 2016)
3 (Oct 1995)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number