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Antique P.Le Maier, Paris Brass Sundial c.1740


Offered for sale is an antique very rare P. le Maier a Paris, signed sundial dating circa 1720, being octagonal in shape, measuring 2 1/2" x 2 1/4" in absolutely outstanding condition. this magnificent sundial has the principal cities around Europe with latitude/longitude designations on the reverse.

Description: An early 18th-Century Butterfield-pattern compass sundial, signed on the horizontal plate Le Maire Fils A Paris, engraved with the hours for latitudes [?]52°, 49°, 45° and [?]42°, the inset compass with sixteen compass points, blued-iron needle with brass cap and glazed cover, the folding gnomon with bird-shaped pointer, and graduated 40° - 60°, the underside engraved with the latitudes for twenty-four cities and towns, supported on a turned silver foot. An 18th-Century Butterfield-type compass sundial, signed P. Le Maire A Paris, the octagonal base plate engraved with foliate panel and four hour scales marked 52 de 4 - 12 - 8, 49 de IIII - XII - VIII, 46 de 4 - 12 - 8 and 43 de V - XII - VII, the folding, spring-loaded gnomon engraved with foliate motifs and latitude scale 40° - 60° running against a pointer in the form of a bird, the compass with engraved rose and brass-capped, blued-steel needle, the underside engraved with the names and latitudes of 31 European cities, in fitted, blue plush-lined, leather-covered case -- 3in. (7.5cm.) long.

Literature: BAPTISTE, Georges (ed.) La Measure Du Temps (Brussels, 1984);DAUMAS, Maurice Scientific Instruments Of The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries And Their Makers(London, 1972). GUYE, Samuel and Henri MICHEL Time & Space Measuring Instruments From The 15th To The 19th Century (London, 1971);MADDISON, F.R. A Supplement To A Catalogue Of Scientific Instruments In The Collection Of J.A. Billmeir, Esq., C.B.E. (Oxford and London, 1957);SYNDRAM, Dirk Wissenschaftliche Instrumente Und Sonnenuhren (Munich, 1989)

Pierre Le Maire (circa 1739-1760) was the son of Jacques Le Maire (fl. circa 1720-1740), an instrument maker and member of the Société des Arts who made instruments for the Académie des Sciences. Daumas notes that Pierre was "the first constructor in France to produce Hadley's quadrant", made a wide range of instruments, and was famous for his skill in mounting natural magnets (p. 259). Butterfield-type dials by Pierre Le Maire are described and illustrated by Baptiste (p. 68, item 54), Guye and Michel (p. 248, plate 248), Maddison (p. 56, item 208, no illustration) and Syndram (pp. 139-141, item 55).

It has an octagonal dial-plate on which are four concentric hour scales. All the markings are in Arabic. Two of the hour scales are marked by Turkish numerals and the other two by 'abjad' numerals. The compass is set into the dial-plate and, together with a single leg at the opposite end, it supports the plate. The cardinal points are named in Arabic and North is offset 5° West to allow for magnetic variation. The hinged gnomon is adjustable for latitudes 30°-50°. A bird index marks the latitude. The compass base and the reverse side of the dial-plate are engraved with a table of 26 cities with their latitudes in Arabic. It contains places in the Near-East and North Africa and also European cities such as Paris and Rome.

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.

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

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  • Model: P. Le Maier Sundial

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 07 July, 2014.

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