The ivory diptych dial was the quintessential Renaissance gadget. To call it a sundial is to underplay its ambition and ingenuity – it was the sixteenth-century equivalent of a smartphone with a multitude of apps.
With a compass to orient the instrument correctly, the device opened up to reveal multiple sundials of different types, telling the time in different hour systems and for use in different places.
How it works
These short films bring to life a selection of working scientific instruments from the Museum's collection. All are on permanent display, but for conservation reasons would not normally be handled or demonstrated in public.