Alberrecht Karner, Nuremberg, 60 x 100 x 11 mm, dated 1667
A magnificent coloured diptych azimuth dial with compass and calendar Case: ivory, gilt brass, signed, makers mark (hunting horn).
The string gnomon between the two lids for a fixed latitude of about 50 degrees. Ornamental flower/fruits and foliage engravings in red, green and black. The upper lid has a hole to show the compass needle in the closed condition, a brass hand index indicating the 32 cardinal directions (16 named in German) and a scale of 1-32. The wind vane is missing. Underside of upper lid has a pin gnomon dial (pin missing) showing the hours and a table showing the length of day (Quantitas Diei), linked to the appropriate zodiac signs. Vertical dial labelled VI-XII-VI in black with red marks for half and quarter hours. Upper side of the bottom lid has a horizontal dial showing the hours (5-12-7) in black with marks for half and quarter hours. The sunken compass has the cardinal directions: se, or, me and oc (north, west, south and east) and twice the hunting horn makers mark. The magnetic declination is given as 0 and 10 degrees west. Furthermore it has a pin gnomon dial with Italian and Babylonian hours (pin missing) and the makers name Alberrecht Karner with the year 1667. Underside of bottom lid has a brass lunar volvelle to convert the reading of lunar hours into solar hours depending on the moon date, scales labelled 1-12 twice and 1-29. Furthermore there are two outer scales labelled, year) KPACTA IVLIANI ANNO 1667 (Julian epacts, year 1667) and KIACTA CRKCOEI ANNO (Gregorian epacts, year).
For an almost similar sundial of this maker see: Steven A. Lloyd, Ivory Diptych Sundials 1570-1750, Page 86. Further reading: Penelope Gouk, The Ivory Sundials of Nuremberg, Hester Higton, Sundials at Greenwich and Ernst Zinner, Astronomische Instrumente, Pages 446 452.
Members of the Karner family in Nuremberg were compass makers for generations. This sundial was probably made by Conrad Karner (II), who died in 1687. Three of his sons also became compass makers active until the late 18th century.
Estimate 8,000 - 12,000 €
Price Realised 8,800 €
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