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Set of four sand glases, c 1720.

Set of four sand glases, c 1720.
3 0 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 22cm


This set of sand glases in an ornate mount of ebony and ivory is probably Italian. The glases are marked 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 with time intervals indicated by the appropriate number of ivory studs set above and below each glas on the enclosing panels, each stud representing 1/4 hour. Sand glases were particularly useful in ships, as they are relatively unaffected by the motion of a ship and by violent weather conditions.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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