Please don't steal our images, yeah?

What is this?

Scrolled square frame with animal allegories of the Four Continents: camel, horse, lion and monkey; hinged quadrant, hour circle with gnomon and pendulum; in center, recessed circular box with compass needle, the face engraved with mermaid and triton; set on three adjustable legs.

Why is this in our collection?

Sundials, which measure time by the sun’s angle, are not usually portable, whereas compasses often are. This pocket-size combination instrument tells time and direction. It is part equatorial sundial, which has a flat surface aligned with the celestial equator, and part gnomon compass, which consists of an angled piece perpendicular to the surface directed to the North or South celestial Pole. Such a device was also a status symbol: the small size, technological complexity, and classical decoration indicate it was a prized personal accessory in Augsburg, Germany, a center of scientific learning and instrument making in the eighteenth-century. The allegorical representations of the four continents at the corners and a mermaid and Nep¬tune engraved on the steel face suggest a learned owner and virtuoso creator. Maker Jacob Emanuel Laminit, who became a master goldsmith in 1748, applied his skills to this bronze sundial-compass at the height of fashion for such accessories.

This is a sundial and compass from Germany. It is dated 1748 and we acquired it in 1960. Gift of the Estate of James Hazen Hyde.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

gilt and engraved brass, cut and blued steel, glass

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 2 x 6.4 x 6 cm (13/16 x 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Engraved signature, city and date: "J. E. L. Augspurge. 48", on back of compass.

This object was made by Jacob Emanuel Laminit

This object was donated by Estate of James Hazen Hyde

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18429505 and we will connect ours to yours!

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18429505/ |title=Portable Equatorial Sundial And Compass, 1748 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=3 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

If you would like to tell us more about an object or have found an error in an object record, please fill out this form. Objects that are slated to be on display when the museum re-opens in 2014 are being given priority but all corrections are welcomed!