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Universal equinoctial ring dial

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probably made in London

Universal equinoctial ring dial
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This universal equinoctial ring dial was made around 1750, probably by Edward Nairne, a scientific instrument maker based in London. Based on the 16th-century astronomical ring, this form of dial is to an English design of 1652.

The user sets the index below the suspension loop to the local latitude. The pin-hole on the gnomon is then set for the date. The dial is suspended and turned until the spot of light from the gnomon falls on the hour ring, giving the time.

A former apprentice of Matthew Loft, Edward Nairne (1726-1806) had premises at 20 Cornhill, opposite the Royal Exchange, in London. He gained an international reputation and published his trade card in French as well as English.

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