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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

German, 1557 - 1609
Ivory and brass

Overall: 4 7/16 x 3 1/2 x 3/4 inches
Open: 4 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 4 7/16 inches

Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston
Arts of Europe

The Reinman family was one of the predominant makers of small, luxurious scientific instruments such as ivory diptych sundials in Renaissance Nuremberg, an important European center for the production of these items.

This sundial has an unusual vertical face that is covered with gold and a transparent sheet of horn. Dials on the inner and outer faces could indicate not only the time, but also the date according to both the traditional Julian calendar and the new Gregorian calendar that was adopted gradually from 1582 to the mid-18th century.