Leonhard Miller, Nuremberg, 56 mm x 92 x 12 mm, dated 1609
An extremely rare portable folding ivory equatorial sundial
A round horizontal dial on an ivory baseplate with hour division encloses an inset compass with a brass-set glass cover. A lid connected by four hinges has an inner vertical dial, also with hour division. The gnomon is a piece of string spanning between the two plates; different pole heights can be set by feeding the string through one of three holes in the lid. Above the vertical dial horizontal lines with the signs of the zodiac are inscribed "Quantitas Diei" and indicate the respective length of the days; the needle-shaped gnomon above is part of this arrangement. Below the round horizontal dial two more dials are engraved in the ivory: one shows the Italian hours, another the Babylonian hours. Signature of the maker: "Lienhard Miler 1609".
The cover of the sundials shows on the outside a sixteen-part compass rose with the sun in the middle; the compass rose is framed by leaves, branches and fruit. The outside of the baseplate shows - again framed by branches, leaves and flowers - a circular conversion table for moon and sun hours with the moon age on the outer ring and an inner ring with double 12 hour scale. In the centre an originally gilded revolving brass disc with a pointer has a circular scale with a double 12 hour scale around a quarter moon and several stars. The baseplate has a small compartment on the left side that can be covered with a small brass lid - probably intended for keeping spare parts such as pieces of string. The lid and the baseplate each have four ornamental studs on the outside.
Lienhard Miler was born before 1580 and died after 1652. He usually signed his work in the way we see on this sundial - with his master’s mark, a heraldic lily and added the year the piece was created; from the many signed pieces we can assume that he was active from 1602 to 1651.
Case: very good, worn, hairlines