A fine, untouched, 5 gnomen slate sundial by the renowned dial maker Richard Melvin c.1860. Signed Rich. Melvin, maker, London and Dublin, this 15 x 14 inch sundial has the main gnomen set at 54 degrees, 30 minutes N latitude-Belfast? (Brooklands. Belfast-owners location). J.T. Owden (1799-1867) ???
Although the original owners name (working on it) is obscured by Victorian graffiti, the dial is all original, uncleaned and with only minor scratches. Originally set in a bronze cradle, this was probably discarded to reduce weight.
Having a central compass rose with 8 cardinal points, thence surrounded by an hour and minute ring and then an outer ring of over fifty location names worldwide. The other 4 original gnomens are for the Isle of Borneo, New Zealand, New York and Alexandria, Egypt. The engraving is superb and very crisp. The dial has seen little use and suffers NO damage. Minor verdigris on gnomens.
Further details to come. Please write for more photos and information gleaned through ongoing research into this rare dial. I now know the person who defaced the dial as William (Willie) John Jury (1835-1896). He was no Rembrandt, rather a Picasso judging by his penmanship (LOL). He was a wine and spirits merchant and quite the local character !! Perhaps with the religious difference in Northern Ireland, he decided to steal and deface the dial. A friend is doing the heraldry of the original family.
Ask the Dealer
Mark Hacking (Scientifica Opticae Inc.) has been an avid collector/dealer for over 30 years. A former Science teacher, he has an innate love for anything natural or mechanical. Specializing in optical (microscopes, telescopes), surveying, medical, weighing and drawing instruments, he is an active participant of the Scientific Instrument Fair in London. Living in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, with his wife and two children; Mark looks forward to meeting as many fellow collectors as possible, and has a worldwide following on eBay (Sciopti).
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