Sundials - World's Oldest Clocks

North American Sundial Society

St. Louis  

Sundial 626
State/Province:  Missouri Country:  USA
Dial Type:  Horizontal Condition:  Excellent
Latitude:   38° 36.9' N Longitude:   90° 15.4' W
Location:
  • Ottoman Court
    Missouri Botanical Gardens
    4344 Shaw Blvd.
 
Description:
  • A unique horizontal dial 28 inches square and 1 inch thick of white Carrara marble with two cast bronze gnomons. Four time systems are shown on the dial. The shadow of the short vertical gnomon near the dial center indicates Ezanic hours based on a 24 equal-hour day with two 12-hour periods starting at sunset; Babylonian hours similarly based on two 12-hour periods starting at sunrise; and two Moslem prayer times, Zuhr and Asr. The polar gnomon shadow indicates hours based on two, 12 equal-hour periods starting at noon and midnight. The polar gnomon support consists of seven rings representing the celestial spheres of Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Dial furniture includes a Qibla showing the direction to Mecca, N 42.7° for this location. Dial markings are accentuated with inlaid gold leaf. This dial design is based on the Ottoman dial at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, built about 1480, and on Ibn Al Shatir's dial in Damascus built 1371, the first sundial with a polar gnomon. Dial rests on three large carved marble blocks 42 inches high. The Botanical Gardens are public but require a moderate admission fee.
 
General Information:Inscription:
  • Owner: Missouri Botanical Gardens
  • Ottoman designs are carved into the sides of the pedestal blocks.
  • Designer: Roger Bailey, Walking Shadow Designs
  • Builder: Abraham Mohler, Sculptor
  • Construction Date: May, 2008; re-oriented Aug, 2008
 
References:
  • "Ottoman Sundials," presentation by Roger Bailey at NASS Conference August, 2008
 
Attachments Available: