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In this section we have 5 sundials from the World Museum Liverpool collection for you to have a look at.

Ivory portable sundial

This is a portable ivory sundial, made in Germany in 1635 by Leonhart Miller.

It is aligned using a compass on the base and the time is read off from the shadow cast by the string. The underside of the base has a moon dial which converts the time shown on the main dial if used for the moon at night. The lid also has a compass that can be used for orienteering.

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 Portable ivory sundial

Slate garden sundial

This is a very unusual horizontal plate sundial which probably came from either the Low Countries (Holland etc.) or France. It was made in 1610 by Labiche.

It is made from slate and would have been sited outside, mounted at a tilt for the correct angle for the latitude. The gnomon is now broken off and would have been used for telling the time both during the day and at night.

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 Slate garden sundial

Cubic sundial

These many-faced dials were a way for a sundial maker to show off their skill. The aim was to make a multi-faced dial so that each face would show the correct time. It was aligned using the compass on the base.

It was made by David Beringer in 1800 in Nuremburg.

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 Cubic sundial

Ring dial, Cadot, 1680, French

This is a pocket sundial. It is read by allowing the Sun to shine through the gap in the central sliding band. It was made in France in around 1680 by a sundial specialist, Cadot.

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 Ring dial

'Scaphe' sundial

This is a Roman sundial dating from the 2nd century AD. The (missing) central gnomon throws the shadow across the lines and marks the time. The head possibly represents Berosus, supposed Greek inventor of this type of sundial.

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 'Scaphe' sundial

Martin Suggett Memorial Sundial

The Martin Suggett Memorial Sundial is mounted on a wall overlooking St John's Gardens on William Brown Street at the entrance to World Museum Liverpool. Martin, Head Curator of the Earth & Physical Sciences Department, died in March 2000, following a short illness. Professor Alan Smith, who was Keeper of Ceramics and Applied Art at the museum from 1963 until 1970 designed and made the sundial, incorporating the Kingston Brooch into the design.

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 The Martin Suggett Memorial Sundial