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Antique Sundials


 ** Additional images
Limestone sundial  **

 

Impressive early 19th Century carved limestone Sundial pedestal surmounted by square bronze plate together with square stone base

54" (137cms) Height to top of pedestal
Plate 13" (33cms) Square

Price    £9500.00

 


 
Compton Pottery P:utto Sundial  ** Early 20th Century Compton Pottery earthenware sundial in the form of a kneeling putto a dial in the form of a hemisperical bowl a tapering cylindrical pedestal inscribed "USE ME WELL / SET ME RIGHT / AND I TIME WILL TELL" as well as "MDCCCCXI" representing the date 1911

For details of Compton Pottery click here

46" (117cms) High

Price  £2400.00

 


 
Geometric Composition Stone Sundial  ** Composition stone geometric design sundial pedestal surmounted by a large brass plate inscribed and dated "2000"

34" (86cms) High

Price   £420.00 Height to top of pedestal


 
Blanchard Armillary Sundial  ** 19th Century (circa 1870) sundial pedestal with wrythen stem stamped
"TERRA COTTA, M H BLANCHARD & CO, Blackfriars Road, London"
surmounted by a later brass armillary sphere stamped "WESTWOOD DIALS ENGLAND"

For details of Blanchard click here

Pedestal 50" (127cms) High
68" (173cms) Overall Height
15" (38cms) Diameter of Armillary Sphere

Price  £1800.00


 
Blanchard ivy decorated sundial  ** Substantial mid 19th Century stoneware sundial stamped 'M H Blanchard 1853' surmounted by later octagonal plate inscribed 'Sunny Hours'

For details of Blanchard click here

45¾" (116cms) Height to top of pedestal

Price    £8500.00

 


 
19th century sundial  ** Early 19th Century carved sandstone sundial pedestal with bronze plate inscribed "Briggs Plymouth" and " Latitude 50 44'" corresponding to Exeter

49" (124cms) Height to top of pedestal

Price     £3200.00

 


 
Sundial plinth  **

20th Century  sundial in the form of a three sectional square  composition stone plinth surmounted by a square copper plate

29" (74cms) Height to top of pedestal

Plate 8" (20cms) Square

Price   £280.00   (Ref: Y/ 103.d)

 

 


 
stone sundial ** Sundial adapted from a Portland stone gable end including 20th Century brass sundial plate (would also be suitable for use as a mounting block, click here to view)

25" (63cms) Height to top of pedestal
22" (56cms) Wide

Price    £750.00

 


 
Tapered Sundial **

20th Century  sundial in the form of a square tapering composition stone base surmounted by a square bronze plate inscribed "Tyme Pafses"

24" (61cms) Height to top of pedestal

Plate 6" (15cms) Square

Price   £150.00   (Ref: R/ 154.82a)

 

 


 
Concrete Sundial **

20th Century  sundial in the form of a square tapering composition stone base surmounted by a square bronze plate inscribed "PASSING AWAY"

24" (61cms) Height to top of pedestal

Plate 6" (15cms) Square

Price   £150.00   (Ref: R/ 154.82b)

 


 
Vintage sundial  ** 20th Century Composition Stone 'Georgian' Sundial Pedestal with brass plate

42" (107cms) Height to top of pedestal
15.5" (39cms) Diameter of Plate

Price   £1250.00



 
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Details of 19th and 20th Century sundial plates

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19th Century Sundial Plate

Detailed engraving

 

Numerals_engraved

Example of a good quality engraved 19th Century bronze sundial plate

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Sundial spurious date

Example of a 20th Century cast brass sundial plate

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Thomas Grice sundial plate

Example of 20th Century cast brass Thomas Grice sundial plate

"Thomas Grice 1705  Seize the present moment the evening hour is nigh"

 
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Brief history of Sundials

 

Although sundials have been in existence for over 2000 years they were not common place in England until the 17th Century when vertical dials were regularly incorporated into the fabric of public buildings such as churches.


The custom of introducing of sundials in the
form of stone sundial pedestals surmounted with engraved bronze or slate plates in private gardens began at the latter part of the 17th Century. The early producers of sundial plates were originally clock makers such as  Hilkiah Bedford and Thomas Tompion. Garden sundials continued to be produced until the end of the 19th Century  when the introduction of standard time in the form of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)  
together with affordable accurate clocks and watches brought about the demise of the sundial as a reliable means of  telling the time.
 

Throughout the 20th Century up to the present time garden sundials have continued to be produced for primarily decorative purposes.

 

How can I tell if my sundial is a
17th, 18th or 19th Century original or a later reproduction?

One of the questions most commonly raised to us is "I have an old sundial plate with a 17th or 18th Century date on it, is it genuinely of this age?"

Unfortunately there are numerous examples of sundial plates bearing what purport to be 17th  and 18th  Century dates such as "1661" or 1705" however these were massed produced during the 20th Century. 
These spurious dates are confusing but as a simple guide the 20th Century  reproductions tended to be made from cast brass with relatively poor definition  in the numerals and decoration together with mottos in Latin or English. 
Whereas the 17th  to 19th  Century originals would be have been true scientific instruments made from bronze, slate or copper with inscribed / engraved numerals and decoration normally together with the makers name and a latitude for where the sundial has been designed to be used.

In summary a bronze or slate sundial plate with engraved numerals and decoration together with a makers name is more likely to be an 18th or 19th Century original.  

Whereas a cast brass sundial plate with a "date" and motto (in Latin or English)
but without a makers name is more than likely to be a 20th Century reproduction. 

A makers name however is not necessarily an indication of age since at the end of the 20th Century a large quantity of reproduction brass sundials measuring 9.75" (25cm) diameter were cast with the details "Thomas Grice 1705  Seize the present moment the evening hour is nigh"

There are exceptions to these guidelines but we hope they help in determining the  age of sundial plates.

Adjacent are some images intended to help determine whether the sundial is a modern reproduction or a genuine original.

 

 

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United Kingdom
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