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Portable Equatorial Sundial And Compass, 1748

This is a Sundial and compass. It was made by Jacob Emanuel Laminit. It is dated 1748 and we acquired it in 1960. Its medium is gilt and engraved brass, cut and blued steel, glass. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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 object was donated by Estate of James Hazen Hyde. It is credited Gift of the Estate of James Hazen Hyde.

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.

Cite this object as

Portable Equatorial Sundial And Compass, 1748. gilt and engraved brass, cut and blued steel, glass. Gift of the Estate of James Hazen Hyde. 1960-1-12.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Portable Equatorial Sundial And Compass, 1748 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 October 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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