A fine brass and silver gilt equinoctial compass sundial by Johann Martin (1642-1721)

A fine brass and silver gilt equinoctial compass sundial by Johann Martin (1642-1721)



5,6 x 5,7



Category: Portable Sundials


signed around the compass

„Johann Martin. In Augsspurg 48“

and engraved „Wien / Presburg 48“

as well as the names and latitudes of 31 european towns, engraved to the bottom of the compass.

The hour scales graduated from 3 – 12 and 1 – 9, the latitude arc from 30 to 90 degrees, the compass with blued steel needle with abbreviations of the cardinal directions: S/E (Septentrio for North), M/E (Meridies for South), O/R (Oriens for East) and O/C (Occidens for West). The ring, the latitude arc and the plummet support are finely engraved and show a great amount of workmanship.

All in a leather case with red leather lining and a brass hook.

Johann Martin (also Johannes Martinus) (1642-1721) was born in Frankfurt/M and moved to Augsburg where he began to produce fine sundials from 1669 on. His also famous stepbrother Johann Willebrand (around 1658 – 1726) began to learn and work at his workshop from 1682 on and set on his own from 1703 on. Both Martin and Willebrand were highly regarded as watchmakers and for their sundials.


Maximilian Bobinger: Alt-Augsburger Kompassmacher, Hans Rösler Verlag, Augsburg 1966.

Provenance: Austrian private collection.

Condition: A part of the hour scale missing (hour scale 6-9 on the right side, the tip of latitude scale broken, otherwise good condition with a fine gilding.

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AT WissenschaftlichesKabinet

Wissenschaftliches Kabinett

The Wissenschaftliches Kabinett is based in the inner city of Vienna, Austria and was established in 1988 by Dr. Max Weber. Later it was taken over by Simon Weber-Unger who specializes in antique scientific and natural history antiques. The Wissenschaftliches Kabinett Simon Weber-Unger exhibits at the Hofburg Antique Fair in Vienna, the Residenz Antique Fair in Salzburg, the antique scientific instrument fair in London and at antique fairs in Zurich and Munich. Simon Weber-Unger is the head of the antique scientific instrument department and antique camera department at the auction house Dorotheum in Vienna and has published articles about scientific instruments in several magazines.