14TH CENTURY SUNDIAL
discovered by metal detectorist
To be offered alongside Apple-1 computer
in Seven Centuries of Science auction
ONLINE-ONLY SALE NOW OPEN FOR BIDDING
15 - 29 October 2015
London – This October Christie’s presents a new online-only auction, Seven Centuries of Science, which offers a curated group of scientific instruments that span the centuries from the 14th to the 20th century. The earliest artefact featured in the sale in a medieval sundial, known as an horary quadrant, which was found by a metal detectorist near Chetwode, Buckinghamshire (estimate: £50,000-80,000). Dating to the 14th century, it is the oldest English scientific instrument to have been presented for sale at Christie’s. The 18 artefacts in the sale tell the story of the history of calculating and computing, from the ‘Chetwode’ horary quadrant through to the iconic Apple-1 that heralded the revolution in home computing (estimate: £300,000-500,000). Highlights include a rare Enigma cipher machine (estimate: £80,000-120,000) and a working wave machine designed by Charles Wheatstone (estimate: £20,000-30,000). Estimates start at £500 and the sale is open for bidding from 15 to 29 October 2015 at www.christies.com/multidaysales/seven-centuries-of-science.
The newly discovered medieval sundial, or quadrant, is marked with lines for unequal hours, to be used as a sundial. It uses unequal hours to tell the time, dividing the amount of daylight as opposed to equal hours, thus rendering winter hours much shorter than summer hours. Only a handful of comparable instruments are known and of this small group the ‘Chetwode’ horary quadrant is the earliest. Further information about this lot can be viewed here and an interview with the metal detectorist can be read here.
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*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.