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ivory, wood, brass, glass.
very good, worn, hairlines
43 x 29 x 11 / 58 x 40 x 11 mm
Both diptych sundials have an oblong shape and each consists of a wooden base plate with a hinged ivory cover plate and two mounted ivory tablets.
The larger of the two is attributed to Jacob Karner (1612-1648); it has a vertical dial with a calendar 1-29 and hour scales 12-1-12 with a brass setting disc (also with hour markers) on the outside of the cover plate. On the inside of the plate the vertical sundial shows the Roman hours VI-XII-VI and stars for the half hours. A wire between the two plates serves as gnomon. The main, horizontal deal shows the hour scales 4–12–8 and stars for the half hours, while an inserted central compass shows the four cardinal directions: SEPT-ORIE-MERI-OCCI (SEPT = septentriones, North / ORIE = oriens, East / MERI = meridies, South / OCCI = occidens, West. The reverse side of the sundial is empty.
The ornamentation consists of stylised black and red leaves and flowers.
A nearly identical diptych sundial by Jacob Karner is held by the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
The smaller of the sundials is attributed to Leonhard Andreas Karner (1682-1752); it has a vertical dial with hour markers "I-XII" on the outside of the cover plate. On the inside of the plate the vertical sundial shows the hour scale "VI-XII-VI". A wire between the two plates serves as gnomon and is also used to set the astronomical latitude by threading it through one of the three holes in the cover plate.
The horizontal main dial shows the hour scales 4–12–8 and an inserted central compass indicates the four cardinal directions: SE-OR-ME-OC. The reverse side of the sundial is empty.
The ornamentation consists of red trefoil flower arrangement and saw-toothed semi-circles. This style of decoration is typical for the creations of the Karner family, who produced such fine pieces for several centuries.
A nearly identical diptych sundial by Leonhart Andreas Karner is held by the Württemberg state museum.
Both sundials were produced by the Karner family, whose members were known as makers of compasses from the 16th to the 18th century.