Scrimshaw Sundial

early 19th century

The Walters Art Museum
Baltimore, United States

In 1702, Thomas Tuttell listed himself as a "mathematical instrument maker at Kings Arms, Charing Cross, London. This sundial is engraved with a black color added showing on the obverse a battle scene with the motto of the Order of the Garter: "Honi soit qui mal y pense." On the reverse there is a crest flanked by the rose of England and the thistle of Scotland and the engraved motto of the British Monarchy: "Dieu et mon Droit." Neither the ivory or brass elements show any sign of wear raising the possibility that this piece is a clever 19th-century conceit with royal pretensions.


  • Title: Scrimshaw Sundial
  • Creator: After Thomas Tuttell (English, active 1695-1702)
  • Date Created: early 19th century
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: After Thomas Tuttell (English, active 1695-1702)
  • Provenance: J. Herman Son Ltd. Galleries, New Orleans, Louisiana; Jean and Sidney Silber, Lutherville, Maryland, March 24, 1989, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2008, by gift.
  • Object Type: sundials
  • Medium: ivory, brass
  • Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 3 1/8 in. (14 x 8 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Jean and Sidney Silber, 2008
  • Classification: Timepieces, Clocks & Watches
  • Accession Number: 2008.22

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