Before clocks arrived in England, sundials were being used to tell the time. However, even after the arrival of early clocks, sundials were still very important during the late 16th and early 17th centuries because the earliest clocks were not always accurate, and they had to be reset regularly using sundials as a reference. Lantern clock makers would often sell their clocks, accompanied by a small brass sundial that was made by the clockmaker or in some cases, if the budget allowed - by a scientific instrument maker.
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Above. An extremely rare 400-year-old-sundial. Signed E.C and dated 1625, this sundial was made during the same year as when the King of England, Scotland and Ireland, James VI and I, died on the 27th of March 1625 and was succeeded to the throne by his second son, Charles I.. Private collection, Photographed by Lee Borrett.
Above. An extremely rare Charles I sundial. Being almost 400 years old, this exceptionally early provincial clockmakers sundial is an historically important survivor and is very interesting in its own right, but because of its known year of making being 1634 - it also has a fascinating historical link to The English Civil War which ultimately led to the death of the King Charles I in 1649. Private collection, Photographed by Lee Borrett.
Above. Cromwellian Clockmakers sundial, c1650. A rare mid-17th century anonymous 3.5 inch horizontal brass sundial with original gnomon. This sundial was made in about the year 1650 and is English in design. It was probably made by a provincial clockmaker who would have supplied it to the first owner along with a balance wheel lantern clock and the dial would have been used to reset the clocks correct time. Private collection, Photographed by Lee Borrett.
Above. Deodatus Threlkeld, dated 1709. This very rare clockmakers sundial which has been signed by its maker is possibly the work of Deodatus Threlkeld , who was working in Newcastle during this time. The J. A. is probably the initials of the first owner and may well be for John Aynsley who was a close friend to Threlkeld for many years.Private collection, Photographed by Lee Borrett.