Sundial

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2018.ast.72 (DAA-0013)

Description:

This object is a wooden sundial that appears home-made. It consists of a flat square of wood, with a pencil and ink circle drawn directly onto the wood surface. Half of this circle is subdivided into twelve equal sections. Each subdividing line is labelled with a Roman numeral from I to XII, with VI appearing twice. At the centre of the circle there is metal rod sticking vertically upwards.

On each side of the square of wood, near to the VI marks, there are two wooden pieces attached at an angle, tilted towards the XII mark.

On the reverse side of the piece of wood there is a complete circle drawn in ink and subdivided into twenty four equal sections. Seventeen of the subdividing lines are labelled with the Roman numerals I through XII, with numerals IV, V, VI, VII and VII appearing twice. Seven of the lines, located at the top of the clock, are unlabelled. Around the rim of the labelled sections, each slice is divided into six.

Primary Materials: Wood, Metal.

Markings: None, except for the Roman numerals.

Dimensions (cm):

Length = 30, Width = 29.6, Height = 15.5.

Function:

The instrument enables one to mark the passage of time using shadows cast by the apparent movement of the sun.

Condition:

Very Good: The wood is chipped in places, particularly around the edges and corners. The wood may have been in this condition when it was used for the instrument. The metal rod is tarnished.

Manufacturer: Unknown

Provenance:

This object was likely moved from the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill in 2008, upon the sale of the observatory. It was stored at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics until 2017, when it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.