The Museum of the History of Science (IV)

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This is a horary quadrant by the famous engraver Henry Sutton (London, 1658) is for finding the time from the altitude of the sun and it’s behind this other ivory quadrant that follows the design published in 1623 by Edmund Gunter:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Look at this French globe with a German sundial:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

As the globe is driven by an internal clock movement, time is indicated by the fixed pointed on one side. This 16th-century French clock is now surmounted by a ‘scaphe’ sundial by Ulrich Schniep, who worked in Munich. The dial is dated in 1555.

Another beautiful object of the collection is this Copernican armillay sphere (london, c.1700) made in silver and ebonyin which it’s possible notice the Sun in the middle of the Universe:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

A lot of astronomical instruments were made by very important engravers and in the collection we can find the instrument with which it was possible making sundials:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

This is an instrument for drawing sundials (London, c.1700), and there is a contemporany manuscript, possibly written by the maker John Rowley, which describes its use. The three bands represent the meridian, the equinoctial and the horizon, while the thin plate, which tilts and rotates within the horizon band, represents the plane of inclination of the dial to be drawn. Using a candle and a line, shadows can be cast on to the plate for successive positions of the Sun.

Apart from the typical sundials, there also are very beautiful pieces like this one made by Paul Reinmann from the Nuremberg workshops.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

…or this other French polyhedrical sundial:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

The polyhedrical dials are very typical in the History of Astronomy and here we can see some examples of this:

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Used most often for outdoor instruments such as monumental garden sundials, stone was occasionally employed for portable instruments. Honestone and Solenhofen stone gave particularly smooth surface.

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Photography by Carlos Dorce

Location: The Museum of the History of Science (map)

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