Gunter Quadrant

This seventeenth century boxwood Gunter-type quadrant has two brass sights along the side of one radius. There is a hole drilled in the side of the quadrant between the sights. The plumb-bob and string which belong at the vertex are missing. The quadrant contains a geometric square marked from 10 to 50 to 10 in units of 2 degrees, an hour arc from 1 to 6 to 12 and an azimuth arc from 20 to 90 to 120, an ecliptic arc calibrated by zodiac symbol, a declination scale to 24 degrees, a horizon arc marked from 10 to 30, a second hour arc marked from 4 to 12 and arc marked from 10 to 50 by 10 degrees, a calendar arch named by month, and a circumference marked from 0 to 90 in units of one-half degree. There are two small "beetles" on either side of the calendar arc which may possibly be a maker's mark. This dial was made for a latitude of approximately 52 degrees.
Ref: Abraham Rees, "Quadrant," Cyclopaedia (London, 1819), vol. 29.
The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Catalogue 6: "Sundials and Related Instruments," Part 4, Section 3, "Horary Quadrants."
Object Name
sundial, quadrant
date made
Physical Description
boxwood (overall material)
brass (sights material)
overall: 1 cm x 12.7 cm x 13.1 cm; 13/32 in x 5 in x 5 5/32 in
place made
United Kingdom: Great Britain
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
Time and Navigation
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Time and Navigation
Time and Navigation, National Air and Space Museum
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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