Hand-carved in Italy, this limestone armillary sundial features an octagonal step beneath a column adorned with putti mascarons. Both the stone pedestal and the iron armillary sphere have developed a fascinating patina from exposure to the elements.
The wrought iron armillary has an arrow-shaped gnomon that runs through the center of a four-ring sphere. Affixed to the interior of the equinoctial, or celestial equator, ring are the Roman numerals “I” through “XII”. As the sun moves across the sky, the gnomon casts a shadow on the numerals, indicating the time of day. At the bottom of the sphere is a cylindrical base topped with a ball mount that inserts into a hole in the top of the stone column below.
An octagonal step has been affixed to a similarly shaped column, although the pillar has rounded vertices, offsetting the angular sides of the step. The column features many undulating sections, with several quarter round protuberances along the body. Four putti mascarons (possibly representing the cardinal directions) grace the sides of the thickest section of the column.
Our Italian limestone armillary sundial with putti mascarons will make a grand statement in any garden. Invented by the Greeks in the third century BC, the original armillary spheres were earth-centric, which is how the Greeks believed the universe functioned. Over the centuries, armillary spheres have been altered to reflect scientific advancements. To function properly, the gnomon must point true North, which differs depending on your longitude and latitude.
CONDITION: Good condition with minor nicks and rubs to stone. Light buildup with traces of moss and lichen. Loss of paint and oxidation to iron. A Roman numeral (“X”) has been reattached and there are traces of adhesive behind some of the other numerals. Stone is a natural material that can become darker or lighter from the elements. Not intended to be an accurate measure of time of day.