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The Copp family of Stonington, Connecticut used this pewter sundial around 1785. The dial has three holes to mount the sundial horizontally, with the initials “NM” cast at the clocks’ “6” position. Accurately aligning the tip of the sundial’s gnomon to true north allows the gnomon’s shadow to fall on the hour of the dial plate. The NM is possibly Nathan Miller from Rhode Island, the son of founder Josiah Miller, whose name appears on several similar sundials of the era.
The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1750
place made
United States: New England
United States: Connecticut
United States: Massachusetts
United States: Rhode Island
place used
United States: Connecticut, Stonington
Physical Description
pewter (overall material)
overall: 1 5/8 in x 3 in; 4.1275 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Copp Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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