Ivory Compass dial, End 17th C

Ivory Compass dial, End 17th C

Stock Number: 380816 u



Diameter 5 cm


End 17th Century

Country of manufacture


Categories: Portable Sundials, Timekeeping


Compass dial for latitude 49° North, end 17th Century. The brass dial is set into an ivory box with a screw-on lid. The dial-plate consists of a brass ring carrying the hour scale and an arc to support the gnomon at the centre. The brass gnomon is hinged, folds flat when not in use and is shaped and engraved on one side. There is a revolving compass card beneath the dial-plate, made of printed and painted card, displaying 32 points: the cardinal and intermediate points indicated by German initials. A central flower is surmounted by a brass pyramidal pivot and there is a glass plate over all. The latitude for which this dial was made suggests that it may well have been produced in Nuremberg, a centre for the production of ivory sundials. Diameter 5 cm

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NL Van Leest Antiques

Van Leest Antiques

Van Leest Antiques, based in Utrecht in the Netherlands, specialises in antique scientific and medical instruments. Their collection covers mainly scientific and medical antique instruments: barometers, globes and planataria, nautical instruments, anatomical models, and pharmacy items. Toon Van Leest travels regularly in Europe and visits trade fairs, auctions, and antique dealers to collect stock and to find pieces to fulfil his clients' unusual requests.

As well as being an avid antique collector and dealer, Toon Van Leest is also a dentist. He believes that antiques are a stable investment, not reliant on trends or fashion, and have truly lasting value. Above all, he says, antiques are timeless and never lose their beauty.