- Museum number
This brass instrument consists of a nocturnal and a horizontal dial for a latitude of circa 49°. It is comprised of a circular plate with several volvelles, to which a handle with compass is attached.
The FRONT is laid out for a horizontal dial with the folding gnomon set for a latitude of circa 49°. The hour scale close to the edge is numbered clockwise IV to XII to VIII, the half hours indicated by small dots.
Further to the inside is a scale for the age of the moon numbered 1 to 29 and divided to 1/2. In the centre of this scale is a VOLVELLE which serves as a moondial. The hours are numbered IV to XII to VIII. A small index points to the age of the moon on the surrounding scale. This allows lunar time to be converted into solar time. A circular aperture shows the phases of the moon.
The dial is dated on the rim close to the 29 of the moon age scale.
The COMPASS, fixed to the handle, has the cardinal points indicated by the first letter of the usual Latin names with a deviation of circa 10°E. A suspension apparatus is attached to the compass.
The REVERSE is laid out as a nocturnal with several circular scales as follows (from the outside):
1) a 30° scale for each of the zodiacal signs in the following circle;
2) the zodiacal signs, indicated by their usual Latin names (partially abbreviated);
3) a Julian calendar scale with the names of the months given as 'IAN' FEV, MAR, AVR, MAI, IEV, IEV, AVS, SEP, OCT, NOV, DEC', each month with 30 days. The equinoxes are at 10 March and 10 September.
In the centre of this scale is a VOLVELLE marked with a 24 hour scale, numbered anticlockwise twice 1 to 12. Small teeth indicate the full hours. Two indices at 12 o'clock allow the instrument to be set to the appropriate time of the year.
An INDEX rotating over this disc is marked 'LIGNE DE FOY'.
The instrument is contained in a wooden CASE with red lining.
- Production date
- 1588 (inscribed on rim)
Diameter: 52 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A volvelle on the front of this instrument allows the dial to be used as a moondial and for the conversion of lunar time into solar time.
[S. Ackermann, EPACT 1998, http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/epact/catalogue.php?ENumber=56711]
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012 21 Apr-31 Dec, Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare's Stories.
- Latest: 2 (Jul 2015)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number