portable diptych dial

Portable diptych dial for sun and moondial, of varnished wood with brass fittings. Rectangular box form with two leaves, connected with string when unfolded. The cover leaf is inscribed with the Chinese characters for moon dial on top, with 'sun and moon dial' inscribed at the bottom. In between is a revolving lunar volvelle marked in black and red ink with 30 days and twelve shichen, a unit of two hours. The inside of the cover leaf features a vertical dial and is inscribed with Chinese script reading "depending on sun and moon light" and "time is precious" within the circle. The inside of the bottom leaf displays a horizontal dial and is set with a metal compass with a glass cover. Around the compass are red and black markings in Chinese script for North, South, East and West. Seven 'shichen' and 'sundial' are marked on the bottom. Marked on both sides of the bottom leaf are 24 solar terms, or jieqi. The underside has Chinese instructions of how to use this combined sundial and moon dial, followed by the maker's name and the place where he came from: Fang Ren-yuan from Xiu-Li county in Anhui, now Xin-an, province.

Collection Information

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