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Exhibit № 2. Anonymous, Circa 1650

Exhibit № 2. Anonymous, Circa 1650

A rare and large English or Italian 17th Century sand-glass of 24 hour duration.
The two large blown-glass ampules filled with Tuscan red sand, sealed and bound together with a black painted leather band. The glass held within a walnut frame consisting of three turned and knopped columns with large circular end plates, topped and tailed by three knop turned finials/feet.

£5,000


Height

22½ inches (571 mm) high, 7¾ inches (197 mm) diameter

Provenance

The Time Museum, Rockford, Illinois, USA, inventory no.494;
Sotheby’s, Masterpieces from the Time Museum IV, 14th October 2004, lot 748, sold for $9,000;
John C Taylor Collection, inventory no.133

Literature

Turner A J, The Time Museum, Volume 1, Time Measurement instruments; Part 3, Water-clocks, Sand-glasses, Fire-clocks, Rockford 1984, cat. no.9, p.90-1

The origins of the sand-glass is unclear and there are no records of their existence in Europe prior to the Early Middle Ages. The first documented example dates from the 8th century, made by a Frankish monk named Liutprand, who served at Chartres cathedral in France.
It was not until the 14th century that the hourglass became more commonplace, the earliest firm evidence being a depiction in the Ambrogio Lorenzetti fresco of 1338, Allegory of Good Government.

As the most dependable measurement of short-duration time and as the motion of a ship at sea had little effect on its function, to some degree, seamen found the sand-glass was able to assist in determining longitude and it became popular on board ship. Use of the marine sand-glass has also been recorded since the 14th century in logbooks and lists of ships stores. The earliest reference was during the reign of Edward III in a receipt of Thomas de Stetesham, clerk of the King’s ship La George. Dating from c.1345 and translated from Latin, it says:

The same Thomas accounts to have paid at Lescluse, in Flanders, for twelve glass horologes, price of each 4½ gross’, in sterling 9s. Item, For four horologes of the same sort, bought there, price of each five gross’, making in sterling 3s. 4d.

Another reference is found in the inventory of the property of Charles V of France at the time of his death, on 16th September 1380:

Item a large sea clock, with two large phials filled with sand, in a large wooden brass-bound case.

That ‘sea clock’ was a gift to Charles from his aunt Yolande of Aragon while still Dauphin, prior to his father’s capture by the English at Poitiers in 1356.

While the mechanical clock took over timekeeping on land, the sand-glass remained an essential instrument for use at sea for a further 450 years, until the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

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Product Description

The origins of the sand-glass is unclear and there are no records of their existence in Europe prior to the Early Middle Ages. The first documented example dates from the 8th century, made by a Frankish monk named Liutprand, who served at Chartres cathedral in France.
It was not until the 14th century that the hourglass became more commonplace, the earliest firm evidence being a depiction in the Ambrogio Lorenzetti fresco of 1338, Allegory of Good Government.

As the most dependable measurement of short-duration time and as the motion of a ship at sea had little effect on its function, to some degree, seamen found the sand-glass was able to assist in determining longitude and it became popular on board ship. Use of the marine sand-glass has also been recorded since the 14th century in logbooks and lists of ships stores. The earliest reference was during the reign of Edward III in a receipt of Thomas de Stetesham, clerk of the King’s ship La George. Dating from c.1345 and translated from Latin, it says:

The same Thomas accounts to have paid at Lescluse, in Flanders, for twelve glass horologes, price of each 4½ gross’, in sterling 9s. Item, For four horologes of the same sort, bought there, price of each five gross’, making in sterling 3s. 4d.

Another reference is found in the inventory of the property of Charles V of France at the time of his death, on 16th September 1380:

Item a large sea clock, with two large phials filled with sand, in a large wooden brass-bound case.

That ‘sea clock’ was a gift to Charles from his aunt Yolande of Aragon while still Dauphin, prior to his father’s capture by the English at Poitiers in 1356.

While the mechanical clock took over timekeeping on land, the sand-glass remained an essential instrument for use at sea for a further 450 years, until the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Additional information

Dimensions 5827373 cm