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Diptych sundial (closed)

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made in Nuremburg, Germany

Postcard of Diptych sundial (closed).
000-190-001-041-C
© National Museums Scotland

Diptych sundial (closed)

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 (shown here closed) was made in 1612 in Nuremburg in Germany, probably by Hans Tucher, or Ducher.

The outside of the base has a stamped brass rotating lunar volvelle and the ivory is stamped with a crowned serpent flanked by the initials H.T. and dated 1612.

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.


Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-001-041-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1961.70
Date: 1612
Material: Ivory tablets. Inscription: [Crowned serpent flanked by] H.T.; 1612
Dimensions: 4.00" x 2.50"
What: Diptych dial
Subject: 20. TIME MEASUREMENT, Sundials (Departmental Classification)
Who: Hans Tucher, Nuremburg, Germany (Maker)
Sir John Findlay Collection
Where: Germany, Nuremburg
Event:
Description: Diptych dial, with hinged ivory tablets, probably by Hans Tucher, or Ducher, Nuremburg, Germany, 1612
References:
  • For dials by Tucher, see Lloyd, Steven A., Ivory Diptych Sundials 1570-1750. London & Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard, 1992, pp 46-7, 156 
  • The Sir John Findlay Collection; an important collection of scientific instruments (2 parts) / Sotheby & Co., London, 1961-1962 
  • Turner. G. L'E. & Morrison-Low, A.D., 'Zinner's Ghosts and a Curious Date: 1576'. Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society No 50 (1996) pp 6-10 
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