A scarce Victorian horizontal magnetic sundial and pocket compass with paper dial in turned boxwood case after Samuel Porter c1850

Antique Magnetic Sundial and Pocket Compass after Porter c1850


Horizontal magnetic sundial and pocket compass having 1½” lacquered floating paper card with simple steel gnomon and brass pivot, and displaying hours. The decorative compass rose showing cardinals, intercardinals and false points, North marked by a fleur-de-lys, South showing a sun face.

Contained under a domed glass held within a turned boxwood case with push-fit lid, the inner lid with label displaying calculations to adjust to the correct time, the outer lid with simple turned decoration and carrying a motif of a moth. The verso of the case carrying a further label bearing instructions and headed “The Magnetic Time Indicator and Compass.”

This horizontal magnetic sundial design, a type of pantochronometer, was patented in 1824 by Samuel Porter, a prestigious scientific instrument maker and a member of a highly respected family of clockmakers.

The floating card clean, the compass swinging freely and finding north easily. The domed glass with minor marks, the case lid with a crack from edge to centre. The inner lid label with signs of ageing, the label to case verso worn.

A fascinating and practical instrument in good working condition, this magnetic sundial and pocket compass is a real collector’s piece.

Dimensions: 2″ diameter x 1″ deep

Stock No: SI0877

Price: £250

Image of Victorian Horizontal Magnetic Sundial c1850
Image of Victorian Horizontal Magnetic Sundial c1850
Image of Victorian Horizontal Magnetic Sundial c1850
Image of Victorian Horizontal Magnetic Sundial c1850
Image of Victorian Horizontal Magnetic Sundial c1850





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