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Diptych sundial (detail)

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made in Nuremburg, Germany

Diptych sundial (detail)
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Diptych sundials have two plates hinged together, and in use open out to form a right angle, with the string hinge operating as a gnomon. This ivory example (pictured here open) was made in 1612 in Nuremburg in Germany, probably by Hans Tucher, or Ducher.

The upper part of the inside of the lid has a pin gnomon dial with a scale from 8 to 16, labelled "QVANTITAS DIE' [length of day]. Below are the holes of the string gnomon. The lower inscription translates as 'latitude 54,48,42, compass for everywhere'.

In the 16th century ivory diptych sundials came from three main centres: Nuremburg and Augsberg in Germany, and Dieppe in France. Most of Hans Ducher's dials were adjustable for use in northern Italy.

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