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Diptych sundial (closed)

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made in Nuremburg, Germany

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

The outside of the lid has a compass-viewing circular hole in it. It is engraved with a wind-rose (lacking its vane) with 32 compass points, 8 labelled in German and in Latin. It has a brass arm-shaped indicator to record the previous wind direction.

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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