- Museum number
This small gilt brass crucifix dial, now empty, has a hinged front lid and a suspension ring at the top.
The OUTER part of the cross shaped LID of the main box is engraved with a Crucifixion and the monogram 'INRI' above it.
The INSIDE of the lid has a small compass with magnetic deviation indicated and the names of the cardinal points abbreviated 'M', 'OR', 'OC', 'S'. The lower part of the vertical arm of the cross is engraved with an unequal scale of latitudes, inscribed 'ELEVAT POLI', from 42° to 54° by two; there are traces of other engraving underneath. The support for setting the latitude is missing. The arms of the cross are decorated with foliage.
The OUTER SURFACES of the cross shaped main box are engraved with: the hour lines from 6 to 10, a linear decoration, foliate decoration, hour lines from 12 to 3, hour lines from 3 to 6, the signature of the maker, hour lines from 3 to 6, hour lines from 12 to 3, foliage decoration, linear decoration and hour lines from 6 to 10. Two holes are pierced through opposite sides at the foot of the main box.
Underneath the FOOTof the cross is an image of a skull.
Along the outer edges of the BACK of the main box are two vertical sliding rulers, engraved 1 to 12 and 13 to 24 respectively. The rulers are at the sides of two columns, numbered 8 to 12 to 8 in opposite directions and are used to convert Italian hours into common hours and vice versa.
Divided across the ARMS of the cross, also on the back, is the inscription 'HIC FINI ESTV GANZ LAVTER VND KLAR * AVS DEN TEITSCHEN STVNDE: D: WEL: ZWAR *'.
- Production date
Height: 56 millimetres (with suspension ring)
Thickness: 10 millimetres
Width: 37 millimetres (across arms)
- Curator's comments
- This small crucifix dial is one of the two known instruments signed by Melchior Reichle, the other being a compendium also in the British Museum [B.M. reg. no. 1865,0620.5; EPACT 1998, http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=37591]
Crucifix dials were, like this one, frequently engraved with scenes from The Calvary. Unusual features of this example are the small sliding rulers on the main box used to convert common and Italian hours.
[I. Meliconi, EPACT 1998, http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=94075]
- Not on display
Latest: 2 (Jul 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number