Mary Rose ‘Foto Friday’

Photos from the Mary Rose Trust archives, brought to you on (almost) every Friday!

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Pocket Sundial

Pocket Sundial
Picture 1 of 36

Eight of these pocket sundials were found on the Mary Rose, six in the style of the one illustrated. This example is 33mm in diameter and 6mm thick, although there was some variation in size. They all feature a collapsible brass gnomon, allowing a lid with a mirror inside to placed on the top, and have a sunken compass built in, a magnetised needle balanced on a brass pin and covered with a brass-lined panel of either mica or glass, allowing the owner to align it with the sun, giving an accurate reading. It’s been claimed that the Mary Rose sundials could probably give a reading accurate to within 5 minutes! On the underside (not illustrated) is a small, engraved acorn. This symbol appears on one other Mary Rose specimen, and also a specimen found in London, suggesting this was a makers mark rather than a personal identification mark. Image © The Mary Rose Trust