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    Sale 5428

    Travel, Science & Natural History

    23 April 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 315

    A fine star-shaped polyhedral dial


    Price Realised  


    A fine star-shaped polyhedral dial
    German, 16th century
    gilt brass eight-pointed star (dimensions 55 x 47 x 18mm.), the bottom point fluted and with a suspension hole, the hour lines running around the facets with punched marks for half-hours, the top engraved with floral motifs, a moving disc bearing a flower turns to reveal a gap with two pivots for a compass (missing) that would remain horizontal when in use, a hinged strut allows it to be adjusted for latitude, the base engraved on both sides with floral motifs, punched ELEVATIO POLI for 32°-66°, numbered 40, 50, 60, three six-pointed stars to the left of this scale, in a (later) fitted leather case
    2in. (5cm) long

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    The hole for suspension suggests that this polyhedral dial may have been worn as a pendant. Two strikingly similar examples can be found in the MHS, Oxford (Inv. no. 53305), and at the British Museum (no. 578-435) which is signed 'H.F.', possibly Hans Felt of Nuremberg.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Morpurgo, E. Orologi preziosi dal XVI al XIX secolo (Milan, 1964), p.50.
    Museo Nazionalle dell Scienze e della tecnica La misura del tempo; Dall'orologio solare all'orologio atomico (Milan, 1988), pp.33 & 81.


    Milan, Museo Nazionale delle Scienza e della tecnica, La Misure del tempo, 1988, no.22.