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made in Luneville, France

Postcard of Sundial.
© National Museums Scotland


This universal mechanical equinoctial sundial was made around 1750 by Gaspard Hommer of Luneville in France. It is made of brass and can be folded up for travel. This type of dial first appeared during the late 17th century.

The hour plate can be set for the latitude of the place of observation by means of a graduated arc under the dial, where there is also a compass for orientation. The instrument seems to lack its gnomon and part of the gearing mechanism.

Luneville was home to a flourishing interest in science in the 18th century. At the time this sundial was made, the city was part of the Habsburg Empire. It was officially incorporated into France in 1766.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-656-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1894.452
Date: Around 1750
c. 1750
Material: Brass
Dimensions: 6.50" x 5.50"
What: Dial, equinoctial
Subject: 20. TIME MEASUREMENT, Sundials (Departmental Classification)
Who: Gaspard Hommer, Luneville (Maker)
Where: France, Luneville
Description: Brass equinoctial dial, with adjustment for latitude, made in France by Gaspard Hommer of Luneville, c. 1750
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