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Tablet sundial, German, c 1599.

Tablet sundial, German, c 1599.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm


This ivory sundial in the form of a book was made by Paul Reinmann (1557-1609) of Nuremberg, Germany, and is inscribed with the words: 'Paulus Reinman Norimbergae Faciebat'. When open, the shadow of the string shows hours am and pm on the interior horizontal and vertical faces of the dial. There are four subsidiary dials on which the indications are given by the shadows of the tips of the four short styles provided. These show the time of day in ordinary, Italian, Babylonian and Jewish hours. Epacts (the number of days by which the solar year exceeds the lunar year) for 1599 are given around the dial, and there is a compas in the centre of the horizontal base. Reinmann was the most prominent ivory compas maker at the beginning of the 17th century.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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