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Pocket compass sundial lid

Date: c 1830
Overall: 12 mm, 7.82 g, 53 mm
Medium: Wood, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Pocket compass sundial
Object No: 00046753

User Terms

    This lid belonged to a pocket compass sundial and was made by the Massachusetts watchmaker Tuxford circa 1830. This style of compass sundial was quite popular in the eighteenth century.

    SignificanceThis pocket compass sundial lid belongs to a highly unusual sundial which lists 52 place-names, including a number in the Pacific discovered during Cook’s voyages, ranging from Botany Bay and Norfolk Island to O-why-hee and Nootka Sound.
    HistoryPocket sundials were highly fashionable objects throughout the seventeenth century before the proliferation of clocks and pocket watches. Even in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they were still favoured by many because they were more accurate in establishing true time, particularly at sea where mechanical timekeepers were unreliable.

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