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2606 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23517

Hand-Painted Diptych Sundial and Compass (Possibly Beringer, Nuremberg), c.1777-1821


A bright and colorful diptych sundial with compass in the style of Europe at the end of the 18th century. Hand-painted on printed paper and pasted on fruitwood. Copper hinges and clasps. Includes a glass encased compass with the needle still in place. Original thread still in place on latitude inside.

Cities listed with latitudes (and spellings) as follows:
Barcellona 42
Bologna 44
Carlstadt 40
Cracau 50
Frankfurt 52
Insbruck 48
Königsberg 54
Warasdin 46

These cities are currently: Barcelona, Spain; Bologna, Italy; Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA; Krakow, Poland; Frankfurt, Germany; Innsbruck, Austria; Kaliningrad, Russia; and Varazdin, Croatia.

In the tradition of the workshop of David Beringer, who worked from 1777 to 1821 in Nuremberg, Germany. Front includes an unusual image with a man, a tower, and the sun, perhaps showing the user how to operate this sundial.

This sundial shows Carlstadt at latitude 40, which is does not work for anywhere in Europe or Russia. This may indicate intended use of the sundial in the Americas. Carlstadt, New Jersey, which housed many Hessians during the Revolutionary War (the time during which this sundial was made), is at 40 degrees latitude. If this is the case, this sundial is quite unusual.

Sundial's string is set at latitude 50, which indicates it was most likely last used near Krakow, Poland.

Latch eye is missing. Very slight water damage around another copper eye. Some very minor curling in paper. Otherwise in incredible condition. Very little fading, foxing, or other wear.

Dimensions are 2 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 3/4 inches when closed. Weighs 10 oz.


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