Collections › MESDA Collection › Sundial


Place Made:
United Kingdom
Date Made:
HOA: 4 3/16, WOA: 8 1/4, DOA 8 1/4
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Sundial is made in two pieces: flat, engraved plate and raised, carved nome. The plate is engraved with a central sun motif with a face surrounded by six points and six wavy flames. The sun is surrounded by roman numerals set in concentric circles. Between the numerals are notches for each eighth of an hour. The half-hour notches have an ornamentation of three dots. Six-petalled florets surround screw holes in each of the four corners.
PROVENANCE: The sundial descended in the Virginia family of the owner. Her ancestor, Ensign Thomas Willoughby, came to America in 1610, and the “W” of the initials may refer to that family. The dial is probably of English origin, but the inscription “latt 37” indicates that the timepiece was used in Norfolk, Virginia, which stands at latitude 37. The engraving of the chapter ring, although simply ornamented, was the work of a skilled engraver familiar with the finishing of clock faces. (JB)

DATE: Note that our records sometimes say that Ensign Willoughby arrived in America in 1710. This date was corrected to 1610 in a February 1991 letter from the donor.

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Andrew Weber