SOLNHOFER STONE SUNDIAL WITH DATE HIDDEN IN A CHRONOGRAM
Stock Number: 8149
For sale, antique 18th century German sundial made of solnhofer stone, with the date hidden in a chronogram. The dial is mounted in a wood frame and has a shaped brass gnomon.
6-3/4 x 8 inches (17 x 20 cm)
Country of manufacture
SOLNHOFER STONE SUNDIAL WITH DATE HIDDEN IN A CHRONOGRAM, German, 1723, bearing arms labeled “GA ZN,” the latitude (47°33′), and a Latin motto which conceals the date (1723). The 6-3/4″ x 8″ (17 x 20 cm) block of very finely grained Solnhofer stone is acid-etched with a fine projection of chapter ring (divided every quarter hour from 4 am to 8 pm) and Zodiacal calendar. It is set with a shaped brass gnomon with oculus for the calendar scale, and is mounted in a dovetailed softwood frame. Condition is very fine throughout, noting an old scratch and some quite small edge chips. Solnhofer stone, found in southern Germany, is particularly suited for fine etching, and often served as lithographer’s stone. The specific latitude agrees with almost the southern tip of Germany (e.g., Lindau, Bregenz), and parts of Austria. The date is revealed by adding all of the capitalized letters (taken as Roman numerals) in the motto, a technique used by Renaissance scholars in a period of classical revivalism. A very fine example, deserving of further research into the elaborate heraldic arms with its bishop’s(?) miter.
Ask the Dealer
David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at www.etesseract.com, and can be contacted at [email protected].
Other items See all
FASCINATING EARLY QUADRANT $4500.