"El Escorial" Book Sundial
From time immemorial, humanity has known that the changing length of an object's shadow indicates the time of the day and that this shade is shorter near midday and is longer towards dusk. Without a doubt, the first rudimentary sundial simply consisted of a stake nailed in the ground.
The sundials that we feature are both functional and decorative, with styles dating to the 16th century, whose originals are displayed in museums as the Nuremberg Museum and the Museum Correr in Venice.
This more whimsical model, styled to look like a book, is called “Escorial”. The exterior is lined in sumptuous, embossed leather and the interior features two exquisitely detailed brass plates. Making an object appear like another object was a fairly common theme in Renaissance and Baroque art.
The Latin inscription reads "Labitur et labetur" which is a reference to Horace's quote "labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum" which translates to "the stream flows, and will go on flowing forever".
Includes a booklet with the history of the sundial and its method of use.