Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Maker:
Henry Sutton  Search this
Measurements:
overall: .6 cm x 13.1 cm x 13.1 cm; 1/4 in x 5 5/32 in x 5 5/32 in
Object Name:
sundial, quadrant
Place made:
United Kingdom: England, London
Date made:
1657
Description:
This brass Sutton-type horary quadrant has two brass sights on the top of the quadrant along one radius. The plumb-bob and string which belong at the vertex are missing. The quadrant is designed for a latitude of 54.5 degrees; a table for the six stars (Ala Peg, Arctur[us], Cor Leo, Oc[cidental] Ta[urus], Cor Vult, Canicul[a]) charted on this quadrant is engraved underneath the latitude near the vertex. Next is a double-wide calendar arch, named by month. The quadrant also contains a declination arc marked from 0 to 23 8/12, an hour arc from 6 to 12 and an azimuth arc from 10 to 90 to 130 (from 90, the arc is also marked down and to the left from 90 to 10), an ecliptic arc marked by zodiac symbol, a horizon arc marked from 0 to 43 by 10, a second hour arc (with a dogleg along the left edge) from 12 to 1 to 5 to 7 to 8 and from 8 to 6 to 1 to 12, logarithmic (?) scales from 1 to 9 and from 1 to 20, circumference from 0 to 90 by half-degree, and a third hour scale from 12 to 6 returning in the other direction to 1.
The reverse of the quadrant bears a planisphere disc which once turned over scales from 1 to 12 X 2 by 1/8 hour. There is a fleur de lis at the 12 near the vertex. The disc is calibrated by month name and contains pictoral representations of six constellations (two bears for Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, etc.). There is a leather and cardboard case for this quadrant stored separately.
Henry Sutton (d. 1665) was a well-known instrument maker who made both wood and brass quadrants among other objects.
References:
Gloria Clifton, <I>Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers</I>, p. 270.
E. G. R. Taylor, <I>The Mathematical Practitioners of Tudor and Stuart England</I>, p. 220.
Maurice Daumas, <i>Scientific Instruments of the 17th and 18th Centuries</I>.
Location:
Currently not on view
Subject:
Mathematics  Search this
Timekeeping  Search this
ID Number:
MA.320152
Catalog number:
320152
Accession number:
241222
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-2dc1-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_997153