Author Topic: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship  (Read 3144 times)

Offline Tanselman

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Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« on: September 12, 2022, 05:49:58 AM »
Last week at a local auction I picked up a small pocket-sized sundial in a tooled leather hinged case. It is fascinating in the quality and complexity of work involved... kind of like the best form of gun locks. From the writing/engraving on the back side, it appears to be German, and the name at the bottom [presumed to be the maker] is J. C Landeck; an early owner's name inside the leather case identified his location as Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm guessing devices like this were a toy of the wealthy, but simpler pocket sundials must have been carried and used at times on the frontier. I thought everyone might like to see a slightly different "frontier" accoutrement. The octagon frame is about 2.75" across the flats. I'd appreciate any comments on its age, etc., since I have no experience with these... other than I knew they existed and were made in many styles.

Shelby Gallien











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« Last Edit: September 12, 2022, 08:23:27 PM by Tanselman »

Online Tim Crosby

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2022, 03:07:43 PM »
 What a find! Beautiful piece, what workmanship. Thanks for posting it.

   Tim

Offline Yazel.xring

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2022, 03:57:56 PM »
Incredible. Thank you for sharing such nice pictures of it.
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Offline Shreckmeister

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2022, 04:44:49 AM »
Did Landeck work in all those cities?  If so he must have been well known
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Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2022, 05:59:15 AM »
I think all the European cities had latitudes after their names [note the number after each city], to help set the sundial at different locations if traveling. Of course, That's an educated guess, not a knowledgeable response.

Shelby Gallien

Offline Robby

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2022, 11:24:40 AM »
Beautiful piece!!! Does the compass still find north?
Robby
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Offline backsplash75

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2022, 11:31:02 PM »
very nice!

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2022, 04:09:50 AM »
Compass works correctly... if removed from case and set on level surface.

Shelby Gallien

Offline Robby

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2022, 11:54:19 AM »
Thanks Shelby! I carry a modern reproduction of one in my bag, its works as it should, except for DST, Hah!
Robby
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We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. A. Lincoln

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2022, 03:52:27 AM »
Nice find, Shelby. You have this rare talent of making these unique finds! I really like this one. Thank you for bringing it in and for the good photographs.
Dick

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2022, 07:58:40 AM »
Dick,

Thanks for the kind words. Just wish I was as lucky finding a good "M. Sells" for my collection... know of any???

Shelby

Offline Dennis Daigger

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2022, 07:20:04 PM »
Wonderful piece for sure. Precise readings from such instruments would have depended on an understanding of magnetic declination and I wonder how many users knew this and applied an adjustment. Maybe as noted this was a rich man’s toy and it didn’t really matter, but maybe it was used by a navigator or surveyor also where it did.

Offline Sequatchie Rifle

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2022, 04:35:14 PM »
A wonderful piece Shelby! Thank you for sharing it.
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Offline JHeath

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2022, 06:09:58 PM »
Last week at a local auction I picked up a small pocket-sized sundial in a tooled leather hinged case. It is fascinating in the quality and complexity of work involved... kind of like the best form of gun locks. From the writing/engraving on the back side, it appears to be German, and the name at the bottom [presumed to be the maker] is J. C Landeck; an early owner's name inside the leather case identified his location as Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm guessing devices like this were a toy of the wealthy, but simpler pocket sundials must have been carried and used at times on the frontier. I thought everyone might like to see a slightly different "frontier" accoutrement. The octagon frame is about 2.75" across the flats. I'd appreciate any comments on its age, etc., since I have no experience with these... other than I knew they existed and were made in many styles.

Shelby Gallien











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Tanselman: google image search for "J.C. Landeck" in quotes. Brush up on your German first. Check name at top left on this cropped screen capture.

https://www.astronomie-nuernberg.de/index.php?category=sonstiges&page=Stuermer-Kunstuhr-Astronomie


Offline JHeath

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2022, 06:12:09 PM »
Corrected, name at top *left*. I forgot to say the pledge of allegiance before posting.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2022, 05:31:53 AM »
To J. Heath - thank you for the lead. I googled the name, got into the web site you pulled the image from, and using the site's "translation" box was able to reasonably translate the German descriptions. I was also able to find a contact in Nuremberg in their historical astrological society [seems to be important in Nuremberg today] and have sent an e-mail asking to correspond with someone knowledgeable on these early pocket sun dials. From the available literature on the site, it appears these small, richly embellished sun dials were made on contract for very wealthy citizens/royalty in Nuremberg. It will be fun seeing what kind of response I get from Germany.  Thanks for posting the lead on the maker, Johann Carl Landeck of Nuremberg.

Shelby Gallien

Offline JHeath

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2022, 06:48:23 AM »
To J. Heath - thank you for the lead. I googled the name, got into the web site you pulled the image from, and using the site's "translation" box was able to reasonably translate the German descriptions. I was also able to find a contact in Nuremberg in their historical astrological society [seems to be important in Nuremberg today] and have sent an e-mail asking to correspond with someone knowledgeable on these early pocket sun dials. From the available literature on the site, it appears these small, richly embellished sun dials were made on contract for very wealthy citizens/royalty in Nuremberg. It will be fun seeing what kind of response I get from Germany.  Thanks for posting the lead on the maker, Johann Carl Landeck of Nuremberg.

Shelby Gallien

War nichts. If the early owner was German in Cinncinati, there's a fair chance he was a member of the schuetzen verein. There's a successor organization:

https://www.schuetzenfestcincy.com/history.html

JNH

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2022, 07:05:13 AM »
The name inside the sun dial's leather case is "Michael Williams" and the date is 1858. Name seems more English than German, unless it was Anglicized when they came over.

Shelby Gallien

Offline SBachner

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2022, 04:04:48 PM »
Search for item MI221099 at https://www.thebestthings.com/misctool.htm for a booklet that may help.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2022, 11:48:39 PM »
I have corresponded several times this past week with a museum staff member in Nuremberg, Germany. He got excited about the sundial and has forwarded pictures to an expert on early scientific instruments and clocks in Nuremberg, who will know more about it. It will take at least a few days before I hear from that person. It seems the sundial is genuine, made about 1700 in Nuremberg by one of the town's best clockmakers, Johann Carl Landeck, who also designed and built astronomical instruments. But Landeck's work is rare, and no one in Germany has seen a small, hand-held pocket sundial by the man, so it will get more expert examination before I get a definitive answer. But so far, the news has been good, and the sundial has excited some people overseas.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: November 13, 2022, 09:24:38 AM by Tanselman »

Offline JHeath

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2022, 07:15:15 AM »
What a find! And sounds like with the Nürnbergers you will advance the historical knowledge of how science and culture interacted. We often say "if this old object could talk" but you are squeezing the story out of this one.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2022, 08:34:59 AM »
In case you would like to know how this pocket sundial story worked out, after a number of correspondences with experts in Nuremberg, Germany, it is one of the rarest and finest sundials/moondials known from early Nuremberg, Germany ca. 1685-1700, where many of the best early clocks, sundials, and astronomical instruments were made. In fact, its design is unique and hasn't been seen by any of the experts yet, so it has excited the people over there. If you'd like to read a more detailed article on the sundial, check it out in the blog articles on my new website, www.kentuckygunmakers.com, and while you're at it, buy yourself or a antique gun collecting friend a great Christmas present with the multi-book deal offered on "Kentucky Gunmakers 1775-1900." While I may be slightly prejudiced, I think that Kentucky's guns are some of the neatest, most attractive, and most interesting guns made in frontier America... in part because they are a melding of NC, VA, and MD longrifles.

Shelby Gallien
« Last Edit: December 15, 2022, 06:00:49 AM by Tanselman »

Offline Robert Wolfe

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2022, 11:19:54 PM »
Thanks for the update - fascinating stuff. And, to show up in Indiana!?
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline Belleville

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2023, 09:13:20 PM »
Pierre Descomptes dit Labadie Sundial-Compass
French Pocket Compass-Sundial, 1671 (Photo courtesy of Windsor’s Community Museum)
This pocket compass-sundial, dated 1671, is silver, wood, leather, and fabric, made by Roch Blondeau, Paris, France, 4.5 cm x 5.5 cm (1-3/4 in. x 2-1/8 in.). This object was brought to the Detroit region c.1740 by Pierre Descomptes dit Labadie who came with his wife and family. He was one of the first to receive a land concession on the South shore (Windsor side) of the river in 1749. Source of information: Windsor's Community Museum.
Descomptes dit Labadie, Pierre
b. 1702. He came to Détroit c.1740 with his wife Angelia Lacelle and family. They had 8 children: Joesph Louis b. 18 Dec 1728, Anthony Louis b. 1730, Margaret b. 22 Aug 1734, Mary Joseph b. 16 Jan 1737, Margaret Angelica b. 1738, Peter b. 5 Sept 1742, Alexis b. Apr 1746, and Elizabeth b. 5 Mar 1749.





« Last Edit: March 29, 2023, 11:32:08 PM by Belleville »

Offline Belleville

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Re: Antique Pocket Sundial of Exquisite Workmanship
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2023, 09:22:25 PM »

WISCONSIN 101/NEVILLE PUBLIC MUSEUM The Le Maire sundial compass was the mid-18th century equivalent to today’s GPS. It was found near Green Bay in 1902 by a local antiquities collector, Frank Duchateau, and recalls a time when Wisconsin was part of New France. French mariners and explorers using the Le Maire Sundial Compass depended on both their own specialized navigational expertise and maps produced by French cartographers. Many such maps were created based on explorer accounts of the waterways stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Devices like the sundial compass were given to French officers who along with fur traders, Jesuit priests, and other settlers began arriving in the Upper Great Lakes in the mid-1600s.