Universal equinoctial dial

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Postcard of Universal equinoctial dial.
© National Museums Scotland

Universal equinoctial dial

This universal portable equinoctial dial, a type of sundial, was made around 1840. It was sold by John Davis, a scientific instrument retailer who had a shop in Edinburgh's Princes Street in the 1840s.

The brass instrument is inscribed on the chapter ring 'J. Davies, Edinburgh'. It is universal in the sense that it can be set up to any latitude on the hinged altitude arc.

The dial bears a very close resemblance to examples bearing the name of W. & S. Jones of London, Dollond of London and Abraham & Co. of Liverpool and Glasgow.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-763-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.166
Date: Around 1840
c. 1840
Material: Brass. Inscription: J. Davis, Edinburgh
Dimensions: 109 mm D
What: Sundial, portable
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
J. Davis, Edinburgh (Engraved on sundial)
John Davies, Edinburgh, Midlothian (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Folding universal equinoctial dial in brass, with silvered scales and fitted leather-covered case, signed by John Davies, Edinburgh, c. 1840
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C., Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989, pp 99-101 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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