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Antique Nicholas Bion Brass Sundial Signed

$3,449.00

Offered for sale is this very rare antique brass octagonal Nicholas Bion French sundial, circa 1700 with the latitudes of cities on the reverse around Europe.

This beautiful instrument was made in the early 18th century by the French mathematician Nicolas Bion (1652-1733). It is in hexagonal shape, measuring 3" by 2 1/2"

Ref: "The Construction and Principal Uses of Mathematical Instruments". N. Bion, Translated by Edmund Stone, The Astragal Press, ISBN 1-879335-60-3.

Provenance: From a private collection. See Christie's auction, Dec. 1998.

Shipping is FREE via USPS Priority Mail. We ship international.

Bion's workshop was located within the historic Quai de l'Horloge, Palais de Justice, Paris. He worked by royal appointment as a maker of mathematical instruments to Louis XIV and Louis XV, of France.

This is a horizontal compass sundial, made of gilded silvered. It is of 'Butterfield' type, named after manufacturer Michael Butterfield, who popularized the adjustable bird gnomon.

The sundial can be used over a number of different latitudes, and is inscribed with Babylonian (beginning at sunrise) and Italian (beginning at sunset) hours. The latitudes of notable European cities are engraved on the reverse.

BION'S "MOBILE HORIZONTAL DIAL" FOR CONSTRUCTION OF SUNDIALS, French, c. 1700, signed "N. Bion a Paris." Made of brass, this horizontal sundial has a baseplate 4-1/2" (11.5 cm) square engraved with a full circle of degrees (0 - 90 in each quadrant, starting from North and South), plus principal directions (marked "Sep, Midi, Orient, Occid"), plus labels "declinaison du Midy a l'occident," etc., and along one side "Cote aplique Au Mur," (i.e., "Side applied to the wall"). Mounted to the plate is a circular horizontal sundial engraved with chapter rings for 40, 45, and 50 degrees, and set with a hinged gnomon adjustable from 40 to 60 against a bird-form support. The dial is also mounted with a glazed compass, with pointer moveable against a ±30 scale of magnetic deviation from North. The dial has two peripheral pin indices, and can be rotated over a ±90 range; a replaced string runs freely from the center of rotation. Condition is good noting general wear to the surface.

Folding sectoral gnomon with latitude selection scale and bird-shape pointer is mounted on the base of compass box. Four hour scales for different latitudes: V-ХII with points in 1/4 hour (40°), 4-12-8 - in 1/2 hour (55°). Latitude selection scale 40°-60° with points in 1° and numbering in 10. List of 27 European cities with their latitudes is on the bottom of the base. Inscription on hour scale: “N BION А PARIS.

This is a rare example of the sophisticated horizontal sundial and declinatory of Nicholas Bion (1655 - 1733), author of the great work (in 1709) on instrument construction and use. Quoting from Stone's translation "The Use of this Instrument is for drawing Dials upon any Planes, of whatsoever Situations (as on declining inclining Planes, or both)..." One marks a horizontal line along a wall, for example, places the "side applied to the wall" along the line, turns the circular dial to true north, and extends the string along the gnomon's edge (set for one's latitude) up to the wall, and marks that point as center of the new dial. One then extends the string along each of the hour lines, marks points, then connects the dots on the wall to form the new sundial. It is thus a geometrical projection of Bion's hour lines upon the tilted surface of the "wall." Additional projections fix the new gnomon's geometry.

This beautiful instrument was made in the early 18th century by the French mathematician Nicolas Bion (1652-1733).>/P> >P>Bion's workshop was located within the historic Quai de l'Horloge, Palais de Justice, Paris. He worked by royal appointment as a maker of mathematical instruments to Louis XIV and Louis XV, of France.

This is a horizontal compass sundial, made of gilded silver. It is of 'Butterfield' type, named after English manufacturer Michael Butterfield, who popularized the adjustable bird gnomon.

The sundial can be used over a number of different latitudes, and is inscribed with Babylonian (beginning at sunrise) and Italian (beginning at sunset) hours. The latitudes of notable European cities are engraved on the reverse.

Antique Butterfield type octagonal brass sundial signed “N. Bion A Paris”, which seems to be his first signature even before the opening of his workshop Quai de l’Horloge in 1681.

Dating:early 18th c.

Location:France, Paris

Materials: brass

Folding sectoral gnomon with latitude selection scale and bird-shape pointer is mounted on the base of compass box. Four hour scales for different latitudes: V-ХII with points in 1/4 hour (40°), 4-12-8 - in 1/2 hour (55°). Latitude selection scale 40°-60° with points in 1° and numbering in 10. List of 27 European cities with their latitudes is on the bottom of the base. Inscription on hour scale: “N BION А PARIS".ending to a place close to Niort.

Paris, circa 1680.

Dimensions: 6,4 x 5,5 cm.

Similar to one illustrated in « Les instruments de mathématiques XVI° – XVIII° siècle – Musée du Louvre » n° 22 page 66.

Shipping: FREE to the United States. We also will ship worldwide.

Shipping to the Continental United States is FREE. Please look at the picture and read the description, which form a part of the condition description. What you see and what you read is what you are buying.

International purchasers should contact sellers at: CAPTAINMADISON@ATT.NET for a shipping and insurance quote to your address and country. International purchasers should appreciate that the Customs Dept. of your country may assess duties, taxes and/or other charges on your purchase as it enters your country, which expenses are not part of the purchase price for this item and remains the sole expense of the purchaser.

This product would make a wonderful addition to any scientific instrument collection when displayed in a prominent place, being a grand collectible item that would adorn any serious collector's prized scientific instrument and accumulations, while showing a discriminating dedication for fine other scientific instrument items as well as a devotion to acquiring fine collectibles.

Sellers exclusively use the USPS as its' shipper (insurance available).

Please email sellers to: CAPTAINMADISON@ATT.NET for purchasing, payment, shipping arrangements, requests for more photos, as well as any other inquiries.

Payments may be made by check (must clear), bank checks, postal or bank money orders, Western Union money transfers, pre-payment arrangements, good old U.S. Dollars (green currency), and/or other secure money transfers or payments.

Please regularly visit our other web sites for more sundials and scientific instruments and related products as we shall regularly be adding more products from time to time:

www.antique_scientific_instruments.com

www.oldsundial.com

www.vintagesundial.com

www.antiquesundials.com


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  • Model: Nicholas Bion Pocket Sundial


This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 06 July, 2014.

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